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 8, 2014

Beaver Complex update - Aug. 8

Beaver Complex Fire Update

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 8, 2014, morning

Special Message: 
Today’s morning shift briefing was held on the abnormally landlocked boat docks at the Howard Prairie Campground Marina. Incident Commander, Chris Cline, called special attention to this unusual situation and reminded crews that the lack of water in the lake is a clear representation of the difficulty of this fire season. Please be extra vigilant in fire prevention this year. The lack of moisture over the winter and spring has left conditions very dry resulting in a high risk of fire.

Current Situation (Oregon Gulch Fire): 
Fire managers are pleased with progress so far. Yesterday’s warm, dry and unstable weather served as a test to the fire containment lines which held up well.  This success shows that the hard work is paying off. Most of the fire is currently in mop up. Today, firefighters will continue efforts to secure lines, finish the contingency lines and start repairing the fireline in some sections of the fire.

Today is the last day that the Oregon Department of Forestry and CalFire will be in unified command. CalFire Incident Commander, Phill Veneris, expressed his appreciation this morning for the positive partnership between the two organizations during this incident.

 Weather and Fire Behavior: 
Temperatures for today are expected to between 85 and 90 degrees with relative humidity between 13 and 18%. Warm, dry and unstable conditions are expected again today.  Low fire activity is expected today and will be isolated to unburned interior islands. A fire weather watch has been issued for Sunday through Monday for thunderstorms and lightning.

 Fire Statistics for Oregon Gulch

Location:  15 miles east of Ashland, OR                       
 Percent Contained: 50%                               
Size:  35,093* acres (9,464 acres in California)                 
Cause:  Lightning                             

Start Date: 7/30/14                              

* Acreage has been reduced from what was reported on 8/6/14 due to better mapping.

Oregon wildland resources assigned to the complex include: 6 Type 1 crews, 51 Type 2 hand crews, 4 camp crews, 58 engines, 19 dozers, 27 water tenders, and overhead personnel. 

California resources include:  1 dozers, 5 engines, and 2 crews.

Air resources:  13 helicopters.

Total personnel:  1,643

Evacuation orders by county:

Jackson County
The evacuation level for residents from the 6,000 block south to the Oregon Border on Copco Road will remain at a 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
All evacuation orders for Klamath County have been lifted, including the Klamath River canyon from John C. Boyle Dam to the California border.  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 remain at Road 106 (Camp 4) south from Highway 66.

Siskiyou County
All evacuations in Siskiyou County have been lifted.

For the complex, 270 homes and 50 outbuildings are threatened; 6 homes were destroyed.

Places to get information:

Twitter - www.twitter.com/swofire/

Southwest Oregon District Blog - www.swofire.com/
Smoke Information - oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/
DEQ - www.deq.state.or.us/AQ/burning/wildfires/index.htm
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.