Current situation

Fire season on ODF-protected land has officially ended in all of Oregon as cooler temperatures and moister conditions settle over much of the state. With the end of wildfire season in Oregon, firefighting resources are now more available. As a result, several public and private engines and crews have been dispatched to California to assist with the devastating wildfires there.































Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Oregon Department of Forestry Fire Update for Wednesday, July 16, 2014


FIRES ON ODF-PROTECTED LANDS
One new fire was reported to Salem Coordination Center in the last 24-hours.

Sunflower Fire
The lightning-caused Sunflower Fire was reported burning in timber and grass approximately 10 miles north of Monument yesterday. The fire is currently estimated at 400 acres with running, spotting and torching. Growth potential is high.

Resources currently assigned: 4 engines, 1 crew, 1 water tender. 6 structures threatened.

Waterman Complex

This lightning-caused complex of fires near Mitchell, Service Creek and Kimberly, was reported Monday evening. It includes the Bailey Butte, Toney Butte and Junction Springs Fires.

The Bailey Butte Fire, burning in timber, is located approximately 10 miles west of the town of Mitchell. It is estimated at 2,105 acres and is 0% contained.

The fire has moved south onto the Ochoco National Forest into very heavy timber.  Plans include using managed stands to suppress the fire’s forward movement.

Firefighters will be working diligently to minimize acres burned on ODF protected private timber and range lands. Coordination with private landowner and Ochoco National Forest will continue.

The Wheeler County Sheriff reduced the evacuation notice to Level 1 on the West Branch Road area.  Home owners have been advised to remain on alert. Highway 26 remains closed due to very active fire behavior and hazardous falling trees. Two developed campgrounds (Ochoco Divide and Wildwood), and one trailhead (Cougar East) have been evacuated.

The Toney Butte Fire was reported Monday burning in grass, brush, juniper, sage and timber approximately 6 miles southwest of the town of Spray. The fire is estimated at 2,194 acres and is 0% contained.

Firefighters will be coordinating with landowners and working diligently to minimize acres burned on ODF protected private lands by establishing fire line to aid containment.

The Junction Springs Fire is 20 acres, 0% contained. Engines were able to access the top of the fire to apply water directly holding the fire. Efforts are to improve, hold and mop-up hot spots on existing line, construct and hold new line, and identify potential spot fires.

Resources assigned to the Waterman Complex: 15 engines, 20 crews, 3 water tenders, 6 bulldozers and 1 helicopter are assigned to this fire, along with 482 personnel.

Fire information: 541-462-3140.

Moccasin Hill Fire

The Moccasin Hill Fire, reported Sunday burning 4 miles north of Sprague River and northeast of Klamath Falls, is now estimated at 2,535 acres.

Firefighters continue to make significant gains in efforts to contain the fire. Late yesterday fire officials reported the entire fire is lined with approximately 85% dozer lines, 5% roads, and 10% hand lines. Spot fires outside the main perimeter have been lined, and crews are reinforcing lines along steep bluffs on the eastern side of the fire.

Yesterday, fire officials and Red Cross personnel were able to enter the burned area to conduct a detailed assessment of structures lost during the initial fire run on Sunday afternoon. This assessment has revealed that 17 primary structures and 16 other structures were lost for a total of 33 structures destroyed, up from the previous estimate of 20 total. No additional structures have been lost since Sunday.

Today, firefighters will focus on mop-up activities on several portions of the fire line. In addition to mop-up work along the entire fire perimeter, crews will continue to extinguish all smokes within the residential area.

Safety officers are encouraging the crews to pace themselves appropriately to deal with the warm and dry weather conditions. The weather forecast for today calls for a chance of thunderstorms late in the day.

With multiple additional large fires being managed elsewhere in the state, the Incident Management Team will begin releasing some crews to transition to other incidents.

The level 1 evacuation status remains in effect for subdivisions near the fire. The Red Cross Evacuation Center remains open at the Sprague Community Center.

The fire is 35 percent contained and cause of the fire is under investigation.

Resources assigned: 24 crews, 2 air tankers, 10 helicopters, 23 engines, 6 bulldozers, 9 water tenders. Estimated costs to date: $1.6 M.

Fire information: Fire Information Line at 541-947-6223 for fire information, or follow the incident’s website.

White River Fire

Despite withering heat, fire crews working to extinguish the 652-acre White River Fire located 12 miles west of Tygh Valley significantly expanded their mop-up operation, bringing the containment level to 80 percent today. Full containment is expected by the end of the week.
Firefighters today will be working under Red Flag Warning conditions: 100-degree heat, humidity below 20 percent and stronger winds. This will raise the likelihood of increased fire activity deep inside the fire line where there are scattered unburned fuels and numerous hot spots. Hose lines and portable water ponds have been set up to stretch mop-up capabilities deep into the White River Canyon.
Night shift firefighters have been using hand-held infrared devices to detect buried pockets of heat.

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.
Some resources, mostly personnel, will be released from the White River Fire today. It is likely that firefighters and equipment will get reassigned to other fires burning in the region.

Resources assigned: 2 Type II (medium) helicopters, 2 Type III (light) helicopters, 10 engines, 2 bulldozers, 1 water tender and 458 personnel.  Fire costs to date: approximately $1.5 million. Cause is under investigation.

For more information, please follow the incident’s website.

Log Springs Fire

The Log Springs fire was reported Monday burning in timber and grass approximately 4 ½ miles northwest of Ukiah. The fire is estimated at 10 acres, is 90 percent contained and is in mop up.

Bear Claw Fire

The Bear Claw Fire was reported yesterday burning in timber and grass approximately 6 miles northwest of the Log Springs Fire and 10 miles northwest of Ukiah. The fire is estimated at 26 acres, is 80 percent contained and is in mop up.

Service Creek Fire
The Service Creek Fire, located approximately 11 miles west of Spray, Oregon, is estimated at 385 acres. This fire was 100% contained at 9 a.m. yesterday.
2 crews are still assigned to the fire, which is in mop-up.

Over the weekend, lightning strikes across the state have started a number of smaller sized fires in various jurisdictions, including on the Malheur National Forest, and in the Willamette National Forest (contained, and called the Bingham Complex).  

Additional fire information is shared in real time on ODF and other web and social media platforms as it becomes available.

ABOUT THIS UPDATE

ODF is responsible for fire protection on about 16 million acres of private and state-owned forest and grazing land, and on certain other public forestlands, including those owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in western Oregon. Fires may cross ownerships, and because of the need to share firefighting resources, agencies work closely together.

This update focuses primarily on firefighting activity on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected lands involving fires 10 acres or larger in size or of other significance. It also reports on ODF’s major actions as a partner with other agencies.

FIRE PREVENTION

A word about fire prevention: Several of our larger fires this year have been human-caused. With fire activity across the state and warmer-than-usual July temps, please be extra-careful with fire.

OTHER FIRE INFORMATION & LINKS

Oregon Department of Forestry social media

Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr links at link to our social media menu page.

Other Department of Forestry links



Other links

http://www.nwccweb.us/ (Northwest Interagency Coordination Center overview)

http://inciweb.nwcg.gov (Sortable nationwide information)

http://www.deq.state.or.us/aqi/index.aspx (Statewide air quality index readings)


http://www.keeporegongreen.org/ (Keep Oregon Green)


NEWS MEDIA

News media may call the Fire Information Duty Officer pager, 503-370-0403, 24/7 for fire information. The duty officer will call back promptly. Media may also call the Oregon Department of Forestry headquarters office, 503-945-7200, weekdays during business hours.

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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: information@odf.state.or.us.

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, even in non-drought years Oregon's warm, dry summers create conditions that allow for fire to start and spread. In an average summer firefighters still see almost a thousand fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.



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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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.