Current situation

Fires in the Garner Complex in Josephine County have burned close to a 1,000 acres since Sunday. ODF Incident Management Team 2 has taken command of the Complex to allow the Southwest Oregon District to focus on dozens of other lightning-sparked wildfires. While temperatures in many parts of Oregon won't be quite as hot today, conditions are drier than normal for this time of year. The U.S. Drought Monitor reports that 99% of Oregonians live in areas that are abnormally dry or in moderate drought, with southeast Oregon already in severe drought.

Many ODF districts and forest protective associations have raised their fire danger level and tightened restrictions on activities linked to fire starts. Check ODF's fire restrictions and closures web page for the latest details at http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx





Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fremont-Winema Nat'l Forest regrets loss of contract firefighter

 
 
Klamath Falls, Oregon – On July 29, a firefighter from a contract fire crew assigned to the Launch Fire suffered a fatal injury not related to fire suppression activities.
 
An investigation into the death is being led by the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office, and the victim’s family has been notified.
 
Specific details surrounding the investigation, including the victim’s name and the nature of the circumstances leading up to his death, will be released through the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office. Any additional details will be released as soon as they become available.
 
The Forest and the entire wildland fire community are saddened by the tragic loss of one of our firefighters,” said Connie Cummins, Forest Supervisor for the Fremont-Winema National Forest. “Our hearts go out to their family, friends and co-workers.”
 
“We are saddened by this news,” added Acting Regional Forester Becki Lockett Heath.  “The death of anyone involved with protecting life and property from wildfire affects us all. We send our thoughts and prayers from the Forest Service to all who knew and cared for him.”
 
On July 28, the Launch Fire started in the Sky Lakes Wilderness on the Fremont-Winema National Forest. It is estimated to be around 100 acres. An investigation of the origin of the fire determined that it was human caused.  Forest Service Law Enforcement and Investigations has gathered evidence at the fire origin, is interviewing witnesses, and is following up on several leads.

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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: information@odf.state.or.us.

Current wildfire info

National weather forecasters are predicting the summer of 2018 will see above average temperatures and below average rainfall. Drought has already been declared in a number of counties in eastern and southern Oregon, with northwest Oregon also unusually dry for June. These conditions set the stage for potentially large, fast-moving wildfires.

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.

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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.