Current situation

Winter and spring see lots of controlled burns in Oregon to eliminate piles of woody debris left over after logging or thinning. Embers buried in the ashes of these pile burns can sometimes reignite even days after a fire appears to be out, especially if winds blow away ashy debris. The same winds can then fan smoldering embers back to life. That's why it's a good idea to keep checking old pile burns to ensure no hot spots have rekindled.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

White River Fire: Demobilization begins

July 17, 2014       6:45 a.m.

Contact: Brian Ballou, public information officer, (541) 621-4156
Nearly 460 firefighters and support personnel awoke in the White River Fire Camp this morning but many of them will hit the road today and tomorrow, either to another fire suppression assignment or to return to their home units. The 652-acre wildfire, which burned in a portion of the White River Wild and Scenic area 12 miles west of Tygh Valley, is 95 percent contained. Full containment is expected by Friday morning.
Day shift crews will focus on mopping up interior hot spots on the south side of the White River Fire; the north side of the fire will be patrolled by engine crews. Tonight, there will not be a full night shift operation; engines will patrol the perimeter and use hand-held infrared devices to detect heat.
Firefighters, engines and helicopters assigned to the White River Fire are also poised to respond to new fires, should any occur, in support of the Oregon Dept. of Forestry’s protection unit in The Dalles.
A Red Flag Warning is in effect today across the region for westerly winds to 10-20 mph, gusts to 30 mph, and relative humidity below 20 percent.
The cause of the White River Fire, which started July 12, is being investigated.
Fire suppression equipment available to the crews today include:
·         One Type II (medium) helicopter
·         One Type III (light) helicopter
·         Eight engines
·         Two bulldozers
·         One water tender
Costs so far have reached $1.8 million.
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.

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

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

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.