Current situation

With fire season ended, most burning in Oregon forestland in the late fall consists of controlled burns to eliminate piles of woody debris left over after logging or thinning. The timing of such burns is carefully regulated to minimize the chance of smoke entering heavily populated areas.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Forestry’s West Lane, South Cascade districts advise fire caution over Fourth

July 3, 2014                                                     
Greg Wagenblast, 541-726-3588,
Link Smith, 541-935-2283,

Hot, dry weather has arrived, and the Department of Forestry asks Oregonians to be mindful of the wildfire risk over the Fourth of July weekend.

“If you’re going camping, check with the landowner to learn whether campfires are permitted,” South Cascade District Forester Greg Wagenblast said.

In areas where campfires are allowed, take precautions to ensure the fire doesn’t escape to become a wildfire. The Keep Oregon Green Association lists helpful tips for a safe campfire at:

Fireworks have no place in the forest and should be left at home. This time of year the woods are an abundant fuel bed of grass, trees and shrubs that can be ignited by the sparks and flames from even legally sold fireworks.

Residents of Lane and Linn counties are reminded that backyard burning is banned for the season.

Oregon law now prohibits the use of exploding targets, tracer ammunition and sky lanterns in the forest during wildfire season.

“We ask people to exercise caution as they recreate this holiday weekend,” he said. “Fire season is just ramping up in the region, and we likely have a long one ahead of us.”


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Comments and questions

The purpose of this blog is to provide breaking news about wildfire activity on the forestlands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry. We invite you to post questions or comments you have about current wildfires. Please keep your posts civil and free of profanity. You are also welcome to contact us by email at:

Current wildfire info

Cool, wet weather in the winter of 2016-17 ended Oregon's long drought and left a thick snowpack at higher elevations which will take some time to melt. However, in the summer of 2017 a series of heatwaves and a prolonged stretch of dry weather created conditions that dried forest fuels, allowing fires to start and spread. The result was more than a thousand fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.Ninety-five percent of these were put out at less than 10 acres.

What we do

Protection jurisdiction

The Oregon Dept. of Forestry protects 16 million acres of private and public forestlands from wildfire. This includes all private forestlands in Oregon as well as state and local government-owned forests, along with 2.8 million acres of federal Bureau of Land Management lands in the western part of the state. In total there are about 30.4 million acres of forest in Oregon.

Fire suppression policy

The department fights fire aggressively, seeking to put out most fires at 10 acres or smaller. This approach minimizes damage to the timber resource and fish and wildlife habitat, and protects lives and property. It also saves money. While suppressing large fires can cost millions of dollars, economic and environmental damage from wildfires can be many times greater.


About Me

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Oregon Dept. of Forestry's public information officers in Salem, Ore., maintain this blog. During the wildfire season, we spend much of our time reporting on fires and firefighting to news media and the public.