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

Friday, July 18, 2014

Oregon Dept of Forestry Fire Update for Friday, July 18, 2014


Springfield Mill Fire

The wildland-urban interface Springfield Mill Fire was reported to the Salem Coordination Center late Thursday. Originating in the Swanson Mill (Springfield Plywood and Veneer), the fire spread to adjacent grass and brush.

Resources assigned: 1 dozer, 1 tender, 5 engines, 1 helicopter, 25 personnel.

The fire, estimated at 10 acres, is now lined and 100% contained.

Waterman Complex

This lightning-caused complex of fires near Mitchell, Service Creek and Kimberly, was reported Monday evening. It is 7,865 acres and is 35% contained and includes the Bailey Butte, Toney Butte and Junction Springs Fires.

Firefighting resources continue to arrive to assist in suppression efforts. Suppression actions of the day include: providing structure protection on the West Branch Road and Marks Creek area; constructing and holding fire line, mopping-up hot spots, patrolling, scouting new fire line locations, and prepping existing roads. Aviation assets will be utilized to assist in containment efforts. Firefighters are challenged with steep terrain and a Red Flag Warning for low relative humidity and gusty winds.

Waterman Complex Evacuation Notices:
A Level III Evacuation Notice for the West Branch area was issued by the Wheeler County Sheriff’s Office this morning at 7:30 am. A Red Cross Shelter is located at the 108 S. Nelson St (City Hall) in Mitchell.

The Marks Creek area remains under a Level III Evacuation.   Residents have been asked to leave their homes due to the fire threat.  A Red Cross Shelter is located at the Crook County High School in Prineville.

Heavy equipment will be making improvements on the Forest Road 22 starting today.  This is an alternate route between Mitchell to Prineville, expect slight delays.

Bailey Butte Fire – 5,625 acres, 5% contained. Additional crews have been assigned to work the southern portion where the fire had been most active.  The northern portion showed no growth.  Crews are mopping hot spots and are mopping up 50 feet from the fire perimeter.  The Crystal Springs Organizational Camp is being prepped for burn-out operations.  Crews are continuing to prep Forest Service Road 2630 for indirect line and preparing it for burn-out operations. The fire has burned into the Resource Natural Area (RNA). Working in cooperation with private land owners, firefighters have been constructing dozer lines in the West Branch Road area.

A spike camp has been established in Spears Meadow to reduce travel time for firefighters.

Toney Butte Fire – 2,220 acres, 60% contained.  Crews will continue to cold trail, mop up any hot spots, and patrol the fire perimeter.  This fire showed no growth and will go into monitor status end of shift.

Junction Springs Fire– 20 acres, 100% contained. This fire remains in patrol status and monitored by air.

Incident #376 - .25 acres, 80% contained.  Four rapellers are assigned to this fire.  It is located in the Mount Pisgah area.

Resources assigned to the Waterman Complex: 24 engines, 23 crews, 10 water tenders, 6 bulldozers and 5 helicopters are assigned to this fire along with 723 personnel.

Ochoco National Forest Closure Area:

This closure has been enacted due to firefighting activities taking place within the closure area and for the protection of public and employee safety. The Bailey Butte Fire Closure Area is established within boundary lines on its north side by the Forest boundary and its south side following a system of closed Forest roads which include:

Forest Roads 450, 2630, 150, 2200, 2210, 300, 2610, Buck Creek Road to its intersection with the east edge of the Mill Creek Wilderness and Forest Roads 650, 27, 2745, 010 and the 2750.  All roads and trails within the bounds of the Forest Closure are closed.  All campgrounds within the Forest Closure area including Walton Lake, Round Mountain, Crystal Springs, Wildwood, Ochoco Divide, and Whistler are closed.

Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR): Two TFRs are in place over the Complex. One is located over the Bailey Butte Fire and the other over the Toney Butte Fire. Please check the NOTAM for current information.

Waterman Complex Fire information: 541-462-3140 or visit Inciweb at

Moccasin Hill Fire

The 2,535-acre Moccasin Hill Fire located 4 miles north of Sprague River and northeast of Klamath Falls, is now estimated at 75 percent contained.
Yesterday firefighters were engaged in a variety of tasks as they continued to wrap-up work on the Moccasin Hill Fire in preparation for a transfer to a local team this weekend. Crews extinguished hot spots along the fire line and around residential areas.

Today will be the last big mop-up shift before additional crews demobilize to other incidents across the state. The Team will continue to prepare for tomorrow’s transition to a local fire management organization. 

One minor firefighter injury was reported on Thursday.

"Overall, the Team has had an excellent safety record on this incident,” said IMT2 Safety Officer Scott West. “Their training and hard work has really paid off.”

The level 1 evacuation status remains in effect for subdivisions near the fire. The Red Cross Recovery Center in Sprague River was active yesterday, processing affected families and referring them to partner agencies for possible assistance. The Red Cross Center is now closed.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Resources assigned: 21 crews, 3 helicopters, 24 engines, 3 bulldozers, 9 water tenders and 594 personnel. Estimated costs to date: $2.7 M.

Fire information: 541-947-6223 , or follow the incident’s website.

Sunflower Fire

On Monday, July 14, 2014 a thunderstorm ignited the Sunflower Fire 10 miles northwest of Monument, OR. The fire is now estimated at 2,000 acres, 69 acres are on ODF-protected lands.

The fire is burning in steep, rocky terrain with open grass lands and timber stringers. The fire is 5 percent contained.

Current Situation: The Great Basin Type 2 Incident Management Team assumed command of the fire last night and will assist the Umatilla National Forest and Oregon Department of Forestry with suppression activities. Crews made excellent progress on the fire the last few days; a variety of resources are working a “night shift” to secure and hold existing line.  Additional resources are on order and will be arriving throughout the day.

Weather:  A red flag warning, for high winds and low relative humidity will be in effect for a majority of today; a cooling trend is predicted for the weekend which will help with suppression activities.

Area Fire Closures:  An area closure has been established around the fire for firefighter and public safety. Information and map can be found @

Fire Restrictions: Phase A fire restrictions will go into effected on Saturday, July 19th, 2014. For information on area fire restrictions please visit:

Great Basin Team 5 Twitter:
Resources currently assigned: 5 crews, 2 engines, 2 water tenders, 3 bulldozers, 225 personnel. 8 structures threatened.

Fire Camp for the Sunflower Fire at the Morrow County OHV Camp between Spray and Heppner, Milepost 22 / Highway 207.  

White River Fire

Most of the firefighters who have been mopping up the 652-acre White River Fire this week are hitting the road this morning. The fire was declared 100 percent contained today by the Oregon Dept. of Forestry incident management team, which took supervisory control of the fire’s suppression on Sunday, July 13.

The direction of further mop-up operations on the White River Fire has been returned to The Dalles Unit of the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District. Several crews, engines and other equipment remain to ensure the fire stays inside its containment line.

But one hundred percent contained does not mean the fire is 100 percent out.The incident management team’s objectives were to complete a fire line around the blaze’s perimeter, then mop-up (fully extinguish) all hot spots within 500 feet of the fire line (300 feet inside the White River Canyon, a wilderness area).

Some of the incident management team’s members have already been assigned to other wildfires, as have many of the crews that helped to contain the White River Fire. Dozens of blazes east of the Cascade Range in Oregon are scrambling for fire suppression resources – crews, engines, bulldozers, helicopters – and an unwritten objective of the incident management team on the White River Fire was to complete its tasks quickly and completely so much-needed help could be sent to fire managers in other parts of the state.

The cost of containing the White River Fire is $2 million. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

For further information about the White River Fire, please contact: Oregon Dept. of Forestry The Dalles Unit, (541) 296-4626.

More Fire News:

The BLM has closed the Lower Deschutes River to rafting from Trout Creek to Long Bend due to the Shaniko Butte Fire, which is located approximately 12 miles north of the town of Warm Springs.

For info: 541-553-8190. From the Mt. Hood National Forest website at:

Fire Burning near Olallie Resort

A fire is currently burning on the Confederate Tribes of Warm Springs land just East of the Olallie Scenic Area. Visitors are advised to stay out of the Resort area and to avoid the trails and roads (especially the 4220 and 4690 Rd on either side of the Scenic Area) in the vicinity. A Type I fire team has been requested by the Tribe and will be in the area this evening.

Fire behavior can change rapidly. Recreationists need to be aware of their surroundings and watch for smoke and/or fire crews in the area. Aside from the fire in the vicinity of Olallie Scenic Area, there are over 50 small fires burning in the in areas around the Mt. Hood National Forest.


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.


A word about fire prevention: Several of our larger fires this year have been human-caused. Also, fire danger is extreme on ODF-protected lands in southwest Oregon and remains high throughout much of the state.

With fire activity across the state, plus warmer-than-usual July temps and low humidity, please be extra-careful with fire. For more info: (Keep Oregon Green)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Have a question/comment about this season's wildfire activity on the 16 million acres of private and public forestlands that the Oregon Dept. of Forestry protects from wildfire? Let us know. Please keep your remarks civil and free of profanity.

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

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.


About Me

My photo
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.