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





Monday, August 4, 2014

ODF Daily Fire Update - Monday, August 4, 2014


This is an Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) fire update for Monday, August 4, 2014

FIRES
Lightning continues to move through parts of Oregon, igniting fires in those areas of the state on all ownerships.  Firefighting agencies are busy doing initial attack on fires that have been identified, and reconnaissance for other possible fire starts.  Lightning continues in the forecast in specific locations throughout today and tomorrow.

As fire starts continue on all jurisdictions, ODF is actively securing additional resources and engaging in aggressive initial attack on ODF-protected forestlands throughout the state, so that fire-starts can quickly be brought under control and resources can then be re-deployed where they are most needed next.

Fire season 2014 continues to be challenging and, particularly with the ever-present lightning, ODF appreciates the public’s help in being fire-safe while recreating or working on any of Oregon’s forestlands.  Additional human-caused fire-starts will only result in taxing the already-challenged firefighting resources and agencies in Oregon – as well as throughout the Pacific Northwest and Northern California. 

Large fires currently burning within ODF’s protection jurisdiction include:

Northeast Oregon District – Wallowa Unit:  The 5 Mile Fire, started on August 3, 2014 [lightning], is located 20 miles northeast of Enterprise [two miles south of the community of Imnaha] in the Imnaha River drainage.  The fire is currently approximately 1,800 acres, burning in steep terrain in grass and timber, on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, as well as approximately 100 acres of ODF-protected private forestlands in the area.  ODF assisted with initial attack on Sunday afternoon and evening, and continues to assist on this fire.  Among the numerous Initial attack air resources is one VLAT (very large air tanker). The fire is burning in very rugged terrain and difficult to attack with ground crews.  An interagency team, Oregon Incident Management Team 3 (Incident Commander Doug Johnson), is arriving late today, Monday, August 4th, to assume command of the fire either this evening or Tuesday morning.  Structures are potentially threatened in the town of Imnaha and in the Imnaha River drainage. In addition, the Idaho Power transmission line is imminently threatened.  More information:  http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4048/

Central Oregon District – John Day Unit:  The South Fork Complex [lightning] is located approximately 20 miles south of John Day, burning approximately 20,000 acres in the area of the South Fork of the John Day River.  The Murderers Creek Fire is burning on Bureau of Land Management, Malheur National Forest, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and private forestlands.  In addition to the ODF responsibility for the private forestlands affected by this fire, ODF is also the jurisdictional agency on the ODFW lands (of which approximately 1000 acres have been impacted by this fire), however, they are actually protected by the BLM under a formal agreement.  Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team 4 (Incident Commander Brian Watts) assumed command of this complex on August 2, and the Incident Command Post has been set up at Gander Ranch near Dayville.  Additional resources have been ordered.  Information on this complex:  http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4042/.

Southwest Oregon District:   The Beaver Complex consists of two lightning-started fires: the Salt Creek Fire, 20 miles northwest of Medford, and the Oregon Gulch Fire, 15 miles east of Ashland in the proximity of the Soda Mountain Wilderness.  This fire is under Unified Command consisting of the Oregon Department of Forestry Incident Management Team 2 – Chris Cline, Incident Commander, the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office Blue Team – Scott Magers, Incident Commander, and CAL FIRE – Phill Veneris, Incident Commander.

·        The Salt Creek Fire is 155 acres and 80 percent contained.  Today, fire personnel will continue mopping up from the outer perimeter of the fire. 

·        The Oregon Gulch Fire is 36,568 acres (9,464 acres in California) and 20 percent contained.  Yesterday, fire personnel made excellent progress on the fire.  Firefighters have started line construction on the northeast side of the fire and are working their way from the Jackson/Klamath County line towards the Oregon-California border. Contingency lines are being constructed to follow road systems that prevent fire spread to the north and east.  It will be a few degrees cooler today with an elevated inversion remaining much of the day.  Tonight, gusty winds are expected.  Weather conditions are conducive to fireline construction and containment of the fire.  The Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office have structural task forces protecting homes within the Green Springs Fire District area.  Evacuation notices remain in place at locations in Jackson and Klamath counties in OR, as well as Siskiyou County, CA.  Information on this complex:  http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4034/.

 Central Oregon District – John Day Unit:  Oregon Department of Forestry Incident Management Team 1 (Incident Commander John Buckman) assumed command of the lightning-started fires in the Haystack Complex on July 31, 2014.  The Incident Command Post is located at Spray and the fires, on private lands, are full suppression fires.  Current status:  Total of 1,814 acres in seven fires, 95 percent contained.  Unless something unanticipated occurs, transfer of management of the complex back to the local district is planned for Tuesday morning, August 5, 2014.  Today is the last planned big push day to complete mop-up on the Haystack, Steet, School House, Beard Canyon, and Stahl fires.  Throop and Hog Ridge fires currently meet mop-up standards.  The remaining five fires are expected to meet these standards by 6:00 p.m. today.  Fires included within this complex are:   The Haystack Fire, three miles northeast of Spray and mapped at 1,120 acres; the Throop Fire, three miles northeast of Dayville and mapped at 490 acres; the Steet Fire, seven miles northeast of Monument and mapped at 50 acres; the Hog Ridge Fire, nine miles northwest of Dayville and mapped at 55 acres; the School House Fire, six miles east of Monument and mapped at 73 acres; the Beard Canyon Fire, nine miles south of Fossil and mapped at 12 acres; and the Stahl Fire, 14 miles east of Fossil mapped at 14 acres.  Information on this complex:  http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4020/.

Fires on other jurisdictions in Oregon
More information on these fires can be found at: http://nwccweb.us/index.aspx and http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/.

FIRE STATISTICS
Due to heavy firefighting activity our fire statistics have not been updated. They will return when the database has been made current.

Statewide air quality index readings are available at http://www.deq.state.or.us/aqi/index.aspx.

OTHER FIRE INFORMATION
ODF maintains a blog at http://wildfireoregondeptofforestry.blogspot.com/, which includes breaking news on wildfires statewide, along with current fire statistics, and a frequently updated Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/ORDeptForestry.

For information on wildfires in other jurisdictions within Oregon, go to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center website, http://www.nwccweb.us/ and to the national Incident Information System website at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/.

Statewide air quality index readings are available at http://www.deq.state.or.us/aqi/index.aspx.

NEWS MEDIA
News media may call the Fire Information Duty Officer, (see below), 24/7 for fire information. The duty officer will call back promptly. Media may also call the Oregon Department of Forestry headquarters office, 503-945-7200, weekdays during business hours.

 

Jeri Chase | Public Information Officer
General Media Contact
Oregon Department of Forestry
2600 State St., Salem, OR  97310
Desk 503-945-7201
Cell   503-931-2721
jchase@odf.state.or.us

 

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Comments and questions

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.