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.

Friday, July 18, 2014

White River Fire - final update

July 18, 2014, 9 a.m.




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).

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

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.

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

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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:

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.


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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.