Current situation

Fires in the Garner Complex in Josephine County have burned close to a 1,000 acres since Sunday. ODF Incident Management Team 2 has taken command of the Complex to allow the Southwest Oregon District to focus on dozens of other lightning-sparked wildfires. While temperatures in many parts of Oregon won't be quite as hot today, conditions are drier than normal for this time of year. The U.S. Drought Monitor reports that 99% of Oregonians live in areas that are abnormally dry or in moderate drought, with southeast Oregon already in severe drought.

Many ODF districts and forest protective associations have raised their fire danger level and tightened restrictions on activities linked to fire starts. Check ODF's fire restrictions and closures web page for the latest details at http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx





Saturday, August 9, 2014

Beaver Complex update - Aug. 9

Beaver Complex Fire Update

Oregon Department of Forestry Team 2- Chris Cline, Incident Commander

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

August 9, 2014, 9 a.m.                     

Special Message: 
Unified command with CAL FIRE ended yesterday at 6:00 pm. The Oregon Department of Forestry would like to thank both CAL FIRE and the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office for the fantastic cohesive and collaborative effort during this incident. We could not serve the citizens of Oregon and California to the level they deserve without these partnerships in place.

Current Situation (Oregon Gulch Fire): 
Winds over the fire were lighter than expected yesterday which kept fire activity calm over the majority of the fire. These conditions gave firefighters the opportunity to continue progress towards full containment. Crews are identifying and extinguishing pockets of burning embers and working towards having the fire mopped up 500 feet in from the fireline along the entire perimeter. 

Currently, fuels are as dry as they would normally be in mid to late-September making conditions ripe for a large fire. With the expected lightning event and red flag warning coming in the next few days, firefighters were reminded to keep their situational awareness about changing fire conditions. Crews are on standby to respond to any new fire starts that may occur. 

Weather and Fire Behavior: 
Today’s weather is expected to be warmer and drier with unstable conditions. Temperatures are expected to be between 88 and 93 degrees with relative humidity between 15 and 20%.  A red flag warning has been issued starting at 11 a.m. on Sunday extending to 5 a.m. on Tuesday. Forecasters are calling for abundant lightning during that time.

Fire Statistics for Oregon Gulch

Location:  15 miles east of Ashland, OR                       
 Percent Contained: 58%                               
Size:  35,093 acres (9,464 acres in California)                  
Cause:  Lightning                             
Start Date: 7/30/14                              

Oregon wildland resources assigned to the complex include: 48 Type 2 hand crews, 4 camp crews, 59 engines, 12 dozers, 29 water tenders, and overhead personnel. 

Air resources:  11 helicopters

Total personnel:  1,442

Evacuation orders by county:

Jackson County
The evacuation level for residents from the 6,000 block south to the Oregon Border on Copco Road remains 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
Current roadblocks remain at Road 106 (Camp 4) south from Highway 66.

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
Inciweb - inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4034/
NWCC - www.nwccweb.us/information/firemap.aspx

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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

National weather forecasters are predicting the summer of 2018 will see above average temperatures and below average rainfall. Drought has already been declared in a number of counties in eastern and southern Oregon, with northwest Oregon also unusually dry for June. These conditions set the stage for potentially large, fast-moving wildfires.

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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.