Current situation

Winter and spring see lots of controlled burns in Oregon to eliminate piles of woody debris left over after logging or thinning. Embers buried in the ashes of these pile burns can sometimes reignite even days after a fire appears to be out, especially if winds blow away ashy debris. The same winds can then fan smoldering embers back to life. That's why it's a good idea to keep checking old pile burns to ensure no hot spots have rekindled.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Haystack Complex update - Aug. 3, morning

Oregon Department of Forestry
Incident Management Team 1
John Buckman, Incident Commander

Haystack Complex
Morning Update
August 3, 2014  

Late in the evening of Saturday, August 2nd the Stahl Canyon fire was detected about 14 miles east of Fossil.  This is the fourth new fire where resources from the Haystack Complex were asked to assist the local Oregon Department of Forestry firefighters.  The fire is burning in standing and down timber and fortunately gusty winds associated with thunderstorms did not develop over the area as predicted. Aggressive initial attack with the pre-designated initial attack task from the Complex stopped the fire at 14 acres.  Today the fire will be staffed by 24 firefighters to secure the fire line.

The other new fires now being managed by the Complex are:
          Hog Ridge, 55 acres, nine miles northwest of Dayville, staffed with 12 firefighters
          School House, 73 acres, six miles east of Monument, staffed with 26 firefighters
          Beard Canyon,12 acres, nine miles south of Fossil, staffed with 40 firefighters

Mop-up continues on the Haystack and Steet fires and infrared cameras continue to pinpoint hot spots within the fire perimeter.   Meeting mop up standards on these fires may be delayed due to initial attack actions taken to assist local firefighting resources.

A Red Flag Warning was in effect for thunderstorms with abundant lightning over the fire area though 11:00 p.m. Saturday.  Given the past 3 days with four new fires the goal today will be, according to John Buckman, Incident Commander “take care of the ones (fires) we know of and be ready to respond to new ones.” 

Cooperators on the fires are: Wheeler County Sheriff’s Office, Grant County Sheriff’s Office, Spray Volunteer Fire Department, Fossil Volunteer Fire Department, Wheeler County Fire and Rescue, Oregon Department of Corrections, Oregon Department of Transportation, United States Forest Service, United States Bureau of Land Management.

Fire at a Glance
Size: 1,835 acres (7 fires)
Location: Spray, Oregon
Containment: 95%
Cause: Lightning
Fuels: Juniper, brush, grass
Total personnel: 344
Hand crews: 11
Fire engines:  17
Bulldozers: 3
Water tenders: 3
Helicopters: 2
Estimated Cost: $1,400,835
Evacuations: None
Structures lost: 0
Closures/Restrictions: None
Announcements: None

For More Information: 503-758-8253

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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 mountain snowpack. It didn't take long for that to melt and vegetation to dry out due to a series of heatwaves and a prolonged stretch of dry weather over the summer. As forest fuels dried, fires started and spread, many from lands adjacent to those protected by ODF, such as the Chetco Bar Fire in Curry County. That one fire accounted for 46% of the 47,537 acres of land protected by ODF which burned in 2017. Of fires originating on ODF-protected land, 95% were put out at less than 10 acres.

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. 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.