Current situation

Fire season on ODF-protected land has ended in most of Oregon as cooler temperatures, shorter days and moister conditions settle over much of the state. Exceptions are ODF-protected lands in the southern border counties of Jackson, Josephine, Klamath and Lake.






























Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Waterman Complex update - July 16, a.m.


Waterman Complex – Mitchell, Oregon

Information Center – 541-462-3140 (Will be routed through the school switchboard)

 Start date: July 11-12, 2014
Cause: Lightning
Total acres: 4,319
Containment: 0%
Hand crews: 20
Fire engines: 15
Water tenders: 3
Helicopters: 1
Bulldozers: 6
Total personnel: 682
 
Location:  Three fires near Mitchell, Service Creek, and Kimberly, Oregon.

Current situation: Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team 3, Incident Commander Doug Johnson, assumed command of the Waterman Complex last evening.  The incident command post is located at the Mitchell High School in Mitchell, Oregon. A telephone number is now available at the information center 541-462-3140. An infra-red radar flight was completed last night and updated acres reflect the results. Fire fighting resources continue to arrive to assist in suppression efforts. Operational plans for the day include: providing structure protection on the West Branch Road, constructing and holding fire line, mopping-up hot spots, scouting new fire line locations, and falling snags along Hwy 26. Aviation assets will be utilized to assist in containment efforts.

The Complex consists of three fires:

Bailey Butte Fire – 2,105 acres, 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.

Toney Butte Fire – 2,194 acres, 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.

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

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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. 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.