Cooler temperatures and higher humidity with light rainfall this past weekend in many areas of the state have helped firefighting efforts. Lightning is less of a concern this week but humans causing new fires remains a top concern. Gov. Kate Brown announced over the weekend that she is authorizing Oregon National Guard personnel to help fire suppression efforts near Crater Lake National Park.


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Oregon Dept. of Forestry fire update - July 31, 2014

FIRES Lightning continued to move through southwest/southern Oregon, the Cascades, and central Oregon yesterday afternoon and evening, igniting fires in those areas of the state on all ownerships.  Firefighting agencies are busy doing reconnaissance and initial attack on fires that have been identified, and reconnaissance for other possible strikes.  Lightning continues in the forecast for the remainder of the week and through the week-end.

Large fires currently burning within ODF’s protection jurisdiction include:

Southwest Oregon District:  Last night’s lightning storms in the area resulted in several fire starts on ODF’s Southwest Oregon District, with the largest being the 80-100-acre Salt Creek Fire, north of Sprignett Butte near Salt Creek Road, approximately 10 miles west of Shady Cove, and two other 10-acre fires Round Top Butte in the same general vicinity.  ODF Incident Management Team 2 (Incident Commander Chris Cline) has been dispatched to assist the district with these and other fire starts as needed.

For the second time this fire season, ODF is initiating Operations Plan Smokey to deploy National Guard Helicopters to support the wildland fire-fighting effort. The Governor’s prior declaration covers this as it was to remain in effect until the fire threat is significantly relieved or the fire season ends.  Today’s request for resources include two heavy helicopters (Chinooks) and one light helicopter (Lakota) in support of the “Beaver Complex Fire” just north of Medford Oregon.  The Medivac ship for state-wide mobilization is also under consideration today. 

Southwest Oregon District – Grants Pass Unit: The Reeves Creek Fire, that was reported on Monday, July 28, at 6:38 p.m., burning on forestlands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry south of Selma ((25 miles southwest of Grants Pass in Josephine County), is reported today as 75 percent contained, at 204 acres and in mop-up. Unless the situation changes, this will be the last report on this fire.

Central Oregon District – John Day Unit:  Oregon Department of Forestry Incident Management Team 1 (Incident Commander John Buckman) assumed command of the Haystack Complex at 6:00 a.m. on July 31, 2014  The Incident Command Post is located at Spray and the fires, on private lands, are full suppression fires.  Current status: Haystack Fire: ODOT opened State Route 207 the afternoon on July 30, 2014 after fire activity slowed in the area.  The fire is located approximately three miles northeast of Spray and is now estimated at approximately 890 acres; Steet Fire, located in the Monument vicinity, and is currently mapped at approximately 50 acres; Throop Fire: located three miles north of Dayville and currently mapped at approximately 490 acres.  All these fires are burning in a mixed fuel type comprised of scattered conifers, brush and grasses. Firefighting resources continue to arrive at the incident and current resources working on the incident include 10 crews, 6 dozers, 12 engines, 3 tenders, and 300 personnel.  Air resources are available from the John Day Helibase and include three air tankers and four helicopters.  Information on this complex will be available on the Inciweb site at: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4020/.

Fires on other jurisdictions in Oregon
More information on the following fires can be found at: http://nwccweb.us/index.aspx and http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/.

As management of these fires continues to result in Incident Management Teams transitioning them back over to local units, they will be removed from this list; information may still be found on the Inciweb site (URL above).

Pumice Complex:  Located approximately two miles from the south boundary of Crater Lake National Park, the Pumice Flat Fire was reported at approximately 11:15 a.m. on Monday, July 28 (believed to be lightning hold-over fire from lightning received the week before).  The local South Central Oregon Incident Management Team (IC Leyland Hunter) assumed command of the fire earlier in the week, and that fire remains 100 percent lined, 25 acres, 75 percent containment.  However, last night additional lightning strikes resulted in 16 known additional fire starts within the park, so the team is now working on that complex of fires, with a strategy of 100 percent suppression. More information on this fire can be found on the fire’s Inciweb site at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4014/.

Launch Fire:  Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team 2 began managing operations on this fire burning in the Sky Lakes Wilderness Area on the Fremont-Winema National Forest this morning, July 31.  The fire, approximately 75 acres, has resulted in special restrictions and prohibitions to roads, trails, and specific areas of the Fremont-Winema National Forest’s Klamath Ranger District.  More information on this fire can be found on the fire’s Inciweb site at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4018/ .

Kitten Complex: 22,700 acres, 90 percent contained.  Management of these fires (Brogan Hill, Kitten Canyon, North Juniper, and Stemler) is being turned back of to the local unit (BLM Vale District) tonight.

Bridge 99 Complex: 5,699 acres, 95 percent contained, management of this fire has turned back over to the Deschutes National Forest local team.

Ochoco Complex: 10,004 acres, 94 percent contained. Management of this complex transitioned to a small team on July 30, 2014.

Bingham Complex: 452 acres, 50 percent contained; management of this fire has been turned back over to the local unit.

Hurricane Creek Fire: 900 acres, 20 percent contained.  The Wallowa-Whitman National Fire is monitoring the fire, burning in the Eagle Cap Wilderness, dropping water on hot spots, and evaluating the potential for increased activity, ready to respond if the fire moves north and threatens ODF-protected forestlands.  Yesterday, the fire was active on the south end, and crews also conducted burn-out on the northwest corner of the fire, strengthening the line nearest to private lands.

Buzzard Complex: 395,747 acres, 98 percent contained; management of this fire has been turned back over to the local unit.

Center Fire: 2,515 acres, 99 percent contained.

Logging Unit Fires: 10,447 acres, 80 percent contained.

Shaniko Butte Fire: 42,044 acres, 85 percent contained; management of this fire has been turned back over to the local unit.

 FIRE STATISTICS
Due to heavy firefighting activity our fire statistics have not been updated. They will return when the database has been made current.

 Statewide air quality index readings are available at http://www.deq.state.or.us/aqi/index.aspx.

OTHER FIRE INFORMATION
ODF maintains a blog at http://wildfireoregondeptofforestry.blogspot.com/, which includes breaking news on wildfires statewide, along with current fire statistics, and a frequently updated Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/ORDeptForestry.

For information on wildfires in other jurisdictions within Oregon, go to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center website, http://www.nwccweb.us/ and to the national Incident Information System website at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/.

Statewide air quality index readings are available at http://www.deq.state.or.us/aqi/index.aspx.
 

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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

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. There are about 30.4 million total 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.