Current situation

ODF's Southwest Oregon district has become the first to announce it will be declaring the start of fire season restrictions beginning Friday, June 1. The district has already reported having 34 wildfires burning 35 acres. Two-thirds (26) were caused by humans.

Statewide, the number of wildfires now exceeds 100, with 124 acres burned.

May is Wildfire Awareness Month, a time when homeowners are urged to take steps to reduce the risk of wildfire around their house and other structures. Among these are clearing debris from roofs and gutters, cutting back brush from around structures, and removing lower branches from trees.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Mop-up operations widen on White River Fire

July 15, 2014       7:30 a.m.


Contact: Brian Ballou, public information officer, (541) 621-4156


Significant progress was made overnight by crews mopping up the 652-acre White River Fire, located 12 miles west of Tygh Valley, increasing the number of acres inside the fire line that are fully extinguished.

The increase in acreage is due to more accurate information and not to further spread of the fire. The fire is 65 percent contained.

Day shift crews will work to hold the recently completed fire lines on the east and west sides of the White River Canyon and run hoselays deeper into the canyon. Mop-up also continues on the high ground on the north and south sides of canyon.

Nearly 460 personnel are assigned to the White River Fire, and crews have the following equipment available to assist them in fire suppression:

·         Three Type II (medium) helicopters

·         Two Type III (light) helicopters

·         Eight engines

·         Three bulldozers

·         Four water tenders

The cost of suppression so far is estimated at $1.1 million.

Crews heading for the fire lines have been reminded to keep hydrated as a defense against working in 100-degree temperatures on blackened ground. Yesterday, a firefighter was treated for a heat-related injury. Firefighters were also cautioned to watch for and avoid rattlesnakes and poison oak. Other hazards to firefighters include falling trees and snags, rolling rocks, and poor footing on the steep slopes inside the river canyon.

The White River Fire is on land protected by the Oregon Dept. of Forestry’s Central Oregon District. Much of the land is wilderness inside the White River Wild and Scenic Area, under the administration of the Bureau of Land Management. The Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife administers other lands inside the fire area for wildlife conservation purposes.

Fire suppression operations are run by the Oregon Dept. of Forestry Incident Management Team 1 led by Incident Commander John Buckman. Crews and support personnel from across the state have been running the fire suppression operation out of an incident command post at Wasco County Fairgrounds in Tygh Valley.


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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 mountain snowpack. It didn't take long for that to melt and vegetation to dry out due to a series of heatwaves and a prolonged stretch of dry weather over the summer. As forest fuels dried, fires started and spread, many from lands adjacent to those protected by ODF, such as the Chetco Bar Fire in Curry County. That one fire accounted for 46% of the 47,537 acres of land protected by ODF which burned in 2017. Of fires originating on ODF-protected land, 95% 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.