Current situation

Fire season on ODF-protected land has officially ended in all of Oregon as cooler temperatures and moister conditions settle over much of the state. With the end of wildfire season in Oregon, firefighting resources are now more available. As a result, several public and private engines and crews have been dispatched to California to assist with the devastating wildfires there.































Friday, August 1, 2014

Oregon Dept. of Forestry fire update - Aug. 1, 2014

FIRES
Lightning continued to move through most of Oregon last night, igniting fires in those areas of the state on all ownerships.  Firefighting agencies continue to be busy doing initial attack on fires that have been identified, and reconnaissance for other possible fire starts.  Lightning continues in the forecast through the week-end and into next week.

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:

Southwest Oregon District:  As fire starts continued to be identified and lightning resulted in several fire starts on ODF’s Southwest Oregon District, ODF Incident Management Team 2 (Incident Commander Chris Cline) assumed command on Thursday, July 31, of what is now called the Beaver Complex.

Current Situation: The Beaver Complex now consists of two fires: the Salt Creek Fire, 20 miles northwest of Medford, and the Oregon Gulch Fire, 15 miles east of Ashland.  The newest fire, Oregon Gulch, is south of Highway 66, burning in the proximity of the Soda Mountain Wilderness, and grew rapidly yesterday, now estimated at approximately 11,000 acres.
 
The Salt Creek Fire had moderate fire growth yesterday and is currently 108 acres. Both fires were caused by lightning from thunderstorms that moved through the area over the last few days. 
 
The Oregon Gulch Fire started in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, and moved quickly, crossing into Klamath County and over the Oregon-California border early last evening.  Due to the complexity of the Oregon Gulch Fire, a unified command management structure with ODF, CalFire, and the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office will be established.  ODF Incident Management Team 3 was also dispatched to assist ODF IMT 2 with this incident.  Jackson County Sheriff’s Office issued a Level 3 evacuation order yesterday for homes affected by the Oregon Gulch Fire, near Copco Road (6000 block to the Oregon border). The number of structures threatened is 170. Multiple outbuildings were destroyed. 
 
Fire personnel from California, Bureau of Land Management, and various structural fire departments are assisting with fire suppression and structural protection.  Fire growth is expected to move in a southeast direction.  Resource advisors from the Bureau of Land Management have been dispatched to the fire to assist with minimizing the effects of fire suppression activity within the National Monument.

Central Oregon District – John Day Unit:  Oregon Department of Forestry Incident Management Team 1 (Incident Commander John Buckman) assumed command of 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: Firefighting resources will be actively mopping up the three original fires that made up the Complex: Haystack, Throop, and Steet.  Extinguishing all fire within 300 feet of the fire edge has been the mop-up standard set by ODF’s Central Oregon District as sufficient to ensure that these fires will not threaten their containment lines.  In addition, the team assisted with initial attack and assumed command of a new fire, the 55-acre Hog Ridge Fire, and that will also be managed by resources from the Haystack Complex.  The first job on this new fire start is reinforcing the established fire line and then to begin mopping up to secure these lines.  Two initial attack task forces have been identified to assist local firefighters as new fires show themselves from yesterday’s lightning, that are each made up of a crew, a dozer, and two engines.  A Red Flag Warning continues over the fire area until Saturday at 11 p.m. for thunderstorms with abundant lightning and hot and dry conditions.  The Haystack Fire is located three miles northeast of Spray and is currently mapped at 1,155 acres. The Throop Fire, located about three miles northeast of Dayville, is mapped at 490 acres. The Steet Fire located, seven miles northeast of Monument, is mapped at 50 acres.  Information on this complex is available on the Inciweb site at: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4020/.

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

As management of these fires continues to result in Incident Management Teams transitioning them back over to local units, they will be removed from this list; information may still be found on the Inciweb site (URL above).

Sniption Fire: 25,000 acres; 20 percent contained.  More information: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4026/ .

 Pumice Complex:  [No new information yet reported on Friday, August 1, 2014] Located approximately two miles from the south boundary of Crater Lake National Park, the Pumice Flat Fire was reported at approximately 11:15 a.m. on Monday, July 28 (believed to be lightning hold-over fire from lightning received the week before).  The local South Central Oregon Incident Management Team (IC Leyland Hunter) assumed command of the fire earlier in the week, and that fire remains 100 percent lined, 25 acres, 75 percent containment.  However, last night additional lightning strikes resulted in 16 known additional fire starts within the park, so the team is now working on that complex of fires, with a strategy of 100 percent suppression. More information on this fire can be found on the fire’s Inciweb site at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4014/.

 Launch Fire:  Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team 2 (IC Brett Fillis) assumed command of this fire burning in the Sky Lakes Wilderness Area on the Fremont-Winema National Forest on July 31.  The fire, approximately 42 acres and now 75 percent contained, will be turned over to the local unit tomorrow morning.  More information on this fire can be found on the fire’s Inciweb site at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4018/ .

Hurricane Creek Fire:  1,018 acres, 20 percent contained.  The Wallowa-Whitman National Fire is monitoring the fire, burning in the Eagle Cap Wilderness, dropping water on hot spots, and evaluating the potential for increased activity, ready to respond if the fire moves north and threatens ODF-protected forestlands.  The fire remains active on the south end, and burn-out operations yesterday successfully secured in the northwest corner of the fire, strengthening the line nearest ODF-protected private lands.  More information on this fire can be found at: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3966/ .

Logging Unit Fires: 10,447 acres, 70 percent contained. More information: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3973/ .

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.

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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. 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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About Me

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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.