2015 another severe fire season

A cool, wet winter and heavy snowpack delayed the start of fire season in much of western and northeastern Oregon. However, the onset of hotter, drier weather is quickly drying out forests and rangeland, making it easier for fires to start. More than half of ODF-protected lands are in districts that have declared the start of fire season this month. It's especially important as summer approaches to avoid or be extra careful with any potential source of fire in wooded areas. Fire season means the end of most outdoor activities that are high risk for starting a fire, such as debris burning, campfires outside of designated areas, and using tracer ammunition and exploding targets.







Thursday, August 7, 2014

Beaver Complex update - Aug. 7, morning


Oregon Department of Forestry Team 2- Chris Cline, Incident Commander
CAL FIRE – Phill Veneris, Incident Commander

Oregon Fire Information number:  (541) 488-7726
California Fire Information number:  (530) 842-2266
Hours of operation: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

August 7, 2014, 9 a.m.                     

Special Message: 
Take action before fire season starts, make sure your property is prepared for wildfire.  Learn about defensible space and fire-wise landscaping techniques by consulting your local fire department or Oregon Department of Forestry office.  More resources can be found online at www.firewise.org or at www.oregon.gov/odf/Pages/fire/fire.aspx#Fire_Prevention.   

Current Situation (Oregon Gulch Fire):  Fire managers are happy with the progress so far but reminded crews this morning that the hardest part of the work is starting now.  Crews used infrared imaging overnight to identify hot spots and dig out smoldering roots.  Today, crews will pick up where the night shift left off by working along the entire fireline to do a thorough job with mop up. 

Acreage has been reduced through the use of GPS reconnaissance on the line.  GPS tools help provide better mapping and determine accurate acreage consumed by the fire.

Weather and Fire Behavior:  Predicted weather today calls for unstable and dry conditions with temperatures between 85 and 90 degrees and relative humidity between 18 and 23%.  Fire activity is expected to be low, but with the unstable conditions, crews were cautioned to take swift action on any starts should they arise.

Fire Statistics for Oregon Gulch

Location:  15 miles east of Ashland, OR                       
Percent Contained: 42%                               
Size:  35,074* acres (9,464 acres in California)                 
Cause:  Lightning                             
Start Date: 7/30/14                              
* Acreage has been reduced due to better mapping.

Oregon wildland resources assigned to the complex include: 9 Type 1 crews, 51 Type 2 hand crews, 4 camp crews, 74 engines, 22 dozers, 25 water tenders, and overhead personnel. 

California resources include:  4 dozers, 25 engines, and 6 crews.

Air resources: 14 helicopters.
Total personnel: 1,785

Evacuation orders by county:
Jackson County
The evacuation level for residents from the 6,000 block south to the Oregon Border on Copco Road has been reduced from Level 2 Evacuation to Level 1 Evacuation.  Access to Copco Road is limited to residents and emergency services only.  Residents living along Highway 66 in Jackson County between the 11,000 and 22,000 block are still under a Level 1 Evacuation.  This does not impact people living in Keno.  Level 1 Evacuation means “BE READY” for potential evacuation.  Residents should be aware of the danger that exists in their area, monitor emergency services websites and local media outlets for information. 

Klamath County
The Klamath River canyon from John C. Boyle Dam to the California border will change from a Level 2 Evacuation to a Level 1 Evacuation.  This includes Topsy Grade Road, Picard Road, and all other accessible roads south of Highway 66 east to the Klamath County line in Oregon. Current roadblocks are being removed from Topsy Grade Road and John C. Boyle Dam, south of Highway 66 to Camp 4.  Camp 4 Road remains restricted to fire personnel only.  The Klamath River has been reopened for recreational use. 

Siskiyou County
All evacuations in Siskiyou County have been lifted.

For the complex, 270 homes and 50 outbuildings are threatened; 6 homes were destroyed (3 in Oregon and 3 in California).

Places to get information:

Twitter - www.twitter.com/swofire/


Southwest Oregon District Blog - www.swofire.com/

Smoke Information - oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/


Jackson County Sheriff’s Office - www.facebook.com/JacksonCountySheriff



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

CAL FIRE – www.fire.ca.gov

Siskiyou County Pollution Control District - tinyurl.com/ljzak8a

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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. 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.




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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.