Current situation

Lightning mainly east of the Cascade crest is a concern through mid-week as it is a key source of new wildfire starts, often in remote and difficult terrain. Firefighters are still battling many large existing fires across Oregon, most of them started by earlier lightning storms.








Tuesday, July 15, 2014

White River Fire update, July 14, p.m.


WHITE RIVER FIRE
OREGON DEPT OF FORESTRY
INCIDENT MANAGEMENT TEAM 1
Contact: Brian Ballou, public information officer, (541) 621-4156

-- THIS IS THE LAST EVENING UPDATE FROM THE WHITE RIVER FIRE -
UNLESS SIGNIFICANT CHANGES OCCUR

WHITE RIVER FIRE 65% CONTAINED
Crews working in the steep White River Canyon completed the two remaining segments of fire line around the 570-acre White River Fire early this afternoon. The fire line completely encircles the fire and mop-up is proceeding satisfactorily inside the fire line, prompting Incident Commander John Buckman to declare the fire 65 percent contained tonight.

More than 90 firefighters are assigned to night shift. Their objectives are to continue mopping up inside the north and south fire lines. Night shift crews do not work inside the White River Canyon due to safety concerns. The crews are supported by two engines and one bulldozer.

Tonight, crews will also be adding to or moving existing hose lines so the mop-up operation can proceed deeper into the fire's interior.

A firefighter working inside the canyon on the fire's northeast side suffered a heat-related illness during the afternoon and was transported by helicopter to a hospital in The Dalles for treatment. The firefighter responded quickly to treatment and was released.

As wildfire activity picks up in central Oregon, the incident management team in charge of the White River Fire's suppression has agreed to support the local Oregon Department of Forestry unit, located in The Dalles, with initial attack fire suppression resources should new fires break out inside the unit's protection area. Assistance could include engines, helicopters and firefighters to keep newly reported fires from escaping initial attack.

Contact: Brian Ballou, public information officer, (541) 621-4156

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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.