Current situation

Fire season on ODF-protected land has officially ended in all of Oregon as cooler temperatures and moister conditions settle over much of the state. With the end of wildfire season in Oregon, firefighting resources are now more available. As a result, several public and private engines and crews have been dispatched to California to assist with the devastating wildfires there.































Saturday, August 2, 2014

Beaver Complex update Aug. 2, 10 p.m.


Oregon Department of Forestry Team 2- Chris Cline, Incident Commander
Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office Blue Team – Scott Magers, Incident Commander
CalFire - Phil Veneris, Incident Commander
 
Oregon Fire Information Number:  541-826-1599
California Fire Information Number:  530-842-2266
Hours of operation: 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Special Message: Fire behavior for the Oregon Gulch Fire was extreme with rapid rates of spread.  The fire has moved east, deeper into Klamath County.  Klamath County Sheriff’s Office has issued a Level 3 evacuation order for the Klamath River canyon from John C. Boyle Dam to the California border.  This includes Topsy Grade Road and Picard Road in Oregon.  Siskiyou County Sherrif’s Office has issued a Level 3 evacuation from Copco Dam north to the state line on the Klamath River.

Current Situation: 
 
Oregon Gulch Fire
Erratic, gusty winds on the Oregon Gulch Fire caused the fire to move east.  Fire personnel are contending with a moderately high Haines Index and critically low fuel moisture.  The Haines Index is used to indicate the potential for wildfire growth by measuring the atmospheric stability, including the dryness of the air over a fire.  The Haines Index can range between 2 and 6. The drier and more unstable the lower atmosphere is, the higher the index.  The Haines Index today was 5.

Haines 5 conditions will persist through Sunday and significant smoke column development could be enough to generate some lightning in the afternoon through early evening hours.  Temperature and humidity values will be very similar Sunday to the conditions from today, except for slight upper level moisture which is sufficient for a chance of afternoon or evening thunderstorms.

Salt Creek Fire
Fire personnel working on the Salt Creek Fire have completed line construction around the fire and have started mopping up 50 feet from the outer perimeter of the fire. 

Smoke Forecast:  Officials for air quality with the Pacific Northwest Region of the USDA Forest Service have monitored air quality in the area.  Air quality monitors in Medford, Klamath Falls and Eugene were showing moderate air quality this afternoon, with smoke moving to the north during the day. Tomorrow, smoke is expected to move to the northeast of the fires, returning to a northerly direction on Sunday. Air quality is expected to remain moderate during the day and will likely worsen at night and in the mornings, in the valleys.  For more information, visit http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/.

Heavy smoke is also visible throughout Northern Siskiyou County in California.

Fire Statistics for Salt Creek

Location:  20 miles northwest of Medford, OR             
Percent Contained: 30%                              
Complex Size: 146 acres                                     
Cause:  Lightning                               
Start Date: 7/30/14                                                      

Fire Statistics for Oregon Gulch

Location:  15 miles east of Ashland, OR                                       
Percent Contained: 10%                                
Complex Size:  31,918 acres (4645 acres of total in California)          
Cause:  Lightning                               

Start Date: 7/30/14                              

Oregon Resources Include: 29 Type 2 hand crews, 6 Camp Crews, 15 engines, 25 dozers, 22 water tenders, and overhead personnel. 

California Resources Include:  14 dozers, 20 engines, 4 Type 1 crews, and 3 water tenders.

Air Resources:  14 helicopters and 2 air tankers.
Total Personnel:  1,041

Evacuation Orders by County:

Jackson County
There is still a Level One Evacuation for residents living along Highway 66 in Oregon. The addresses include anyone living between the 11,000 and the 22,000 block of Highway 66. This is on the Ashland side and does not impact people living in Keno!

Level One Evacuation means “Be Ready” for a potential evacuation. Residents should be aware of the danger that exists in their area, monitor emergency services websites and local media outlets for information.


Portions of Copco Road remain under a Level 3 Evacuation.


Klamath County
Klamath County Sheriff’s Office issued a Level 3 evacuation order.  The order is for the Klamath River canyon from John C. Boyle Dam to the California border.  This includes Topsy Grade Road and Picard Road and all other normally accessible roads south of Highway 66 east to the Klamath County line in Oregon.

 Siskiyou County
Mandatory evacuations (terminology used by Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office) are in place one mile east of the town of Copco to Beaver Creek only on the north side of Copco Lake. An evacuation center has been established at the Jackson Street Elementary School located at 405 Jackson Street in Yreka, California. The evacuation center can also accommodate small animals and livestock.

Places to get information:

Twitter - www.twitter.com/swofire/


Southwest Oregon District Blog - http://www.swofire.com/


Jackson County Sheriff’s Office - https://www.facebook.com/#!/JacksonCountySheriff



CAL FIRE Ready, Set, Go - http://www.readyforwildfire.org/

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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.



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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.