Lightning is largely absent from Oregon this week. However, warm, dry weather will greet the hundreds of thousands of visitors arriving to see the eclipse of the sun on Aug. 21. Avoiding activities that can spark a wildfire is key to making the eclipse a safe and pleasant experience for all. One measure adopted to reduce the risk of wildfire is a temporary ban, now in effect, on all campfires in state parks

Friday, August 1, 2014

Beaver Complex fires - Aug. 1 afternoon update

The situation at the Beaver Complex in the Southwest Oregon District evolved rapidly today. it
now consists of two fires: Salt Creek and Oregon Gulch. The newest fire, Oregon Gulch, is approximately 20 miles southeast of Ashland. The fire grew rapidly, crossing into Klamath County and burning across the Oregon-California border early last evening. It is in the proximity of the Soda Mountain Wilderness and the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. The fire size is estimated at more than 11,000 acres, burning on both private and Bureau of Land Management lands in Oregon and California.     

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office issued a Level 3 evacuation order (residents are asked to leave immediately) yesterday. Today Gov. Kitzhaber invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act for this fire, which directs the Oregon State Police and the Oregon State Fire Marshal to mobilize fire resources statewide and coordinate with all appropriate fire defense chiefs for the use of personnel and equipment to suppress and contain the fire, and specifically to protect homes and other structures.   

The Oregon Dept. of Forestry (ODF) has an incident management team assigned to the Beaver Complex.  Due to the complexity of the Oregon Gulch Fire, a unified command management structure among ODF, CalFire, and the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s office will be established for the fire.

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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 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. There are about 30.4 million total 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.