Current situation

Hot, dry weather continues to dry out fuels. That makes any fires that do get started likely to spread quickly and be harder to put out. As a result, many ODF districts and forest protective associations are tightening restrictions on activities linked to fire starts. For example, fire danger in the Douglas Forest Protective Association and The Dalles Unit of ODF's Central Oregon District is now rated as extreme. Check ODF's fire restrictions and closures web page for the latest details at

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

White River Fire nears containment

July 16, 2014       7:30 a.m.

Contact: Brian Ballou, public information officer, (541) 621-4156
Despite withering heat, fire crews working to extinguish the 652-acre White River Fire significantly expanded their mop-up operation, bringing the containment level to 80 percent today. Full containment is expected by the end of the week.
The cause of the fire, which started July 12, is being investigated.
Resources assigned to the White River Fire suppression effort include:
·         458 personnel
·         Two Type II (medium) helicopters
·         Two Type III (light) helicopters
·         Ten engines
·         Two bulldozers
·         One water tender

Costs so far have reached $1.5 million.

Some resources, mostly personnel, will be released from the White River Fire today. It is likely that firefighters and equipment will get reassigned to other fires burning in the region.

Firefighters today will be working under Red Flag Warning conditions: 100-degree heat, humidity below 20 percent and stronger winds. This will raise the likelihood of increased fire activity deep inside the fire line where there are scattered unburned fuels and numerous hot spots. Hose lines and portable water ponds have been set up to stretch mop-up capabilities deep into the White River Canyon.

Night shift firefighters have been using hand-held infrared devices to detect buried pockets of heat.

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.


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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

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

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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.