Current situation

Hot, dry weather continues to dry out fuels. That makes any fires that do get started likely to spread quickly and be harder to put out. As a result, many ODF districts and forest protective associations are tightening restrictions on activities linked to fire starts. For example, fire danger in the Douglas Forest Protective Association and The Dalles Unit of ODF's Central Oregon District is now rated as extreme. Check ODF's fire restrictions and closures web page for the latest details at

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Oregon Dept. of Forestry fire update - Aug. 3, evening

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 throughout this evening 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:

Northeast Oregon District: The Buckaroo Flats Fire started on August 2, 2014 (lightning), and burned approximately 12 acres in timber and grass approximately 5 miles south of Ukiah. This fire is dozer-lined and in mop-up status. Update for Wallowa Unit: The Five Mile Fire was reported at 3:15 p.m. today burning on Wallowa Whitman National Forest and scattered private ODF-protected forestlands.  ODF's Wallowa Unit did Initial Attack on this fire, estimated at approximately 900 acres (approximately 50-75 acres on ODF protection).  The fire is turned over to the forest, with ODF continuing to provide mutual aid, and an interagency Incident Management Team has been ordered and will assume command of this fire, day/time still to be determined.

Central Oregon District - John Day Unit: The South Fork Complex [lightning] is located approximately 20 miles south of John Day, burning 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, however, they are actually protected by the BLM under a formal agreement. Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team 4 (Incident Commander Brian Watts) assumed responsibility for management of this complex at 8 p.m. on Saturday, August 2, and the Incident Command Post has been set up at Gander Ranch near Dayville. Additional resources have been ordered. The South Fork Complex grew to 16,581 acres yesterday due to gusty winds and dry fuels and is 0 percent contained. The fire crosse d Murderer's Creek, and is actively burning to the north and northeast. Warm moist air will remain over the fire region today allowing afternoon thunderstorms to develop. Local heavy rains with gusty outflow winds are possible. Down drainage flow may be enhanced tonight as the thermal trough is expected to remain east of the fire area. Information on this complex:

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 30 percent contained. Today, fire personnel will continue mopping up from the outer perimeter of the fire.

* The Oregon Gulch Fire is 32,477 acres (9,109 acres in California) and 10 percent contained. Today's activities include constructing fireline on the northeast side of the fire. Contingency lines will also be constructed to follow road systems that prevent fire spread to the north and east. The Oregon State Fire Marshal's Office have structural task forces protecting homes within the Green Springs Fire District area. The structural protection is being provided by agencies from across the state. High pressure remains over the region, with a weather system moving into the area bringing with it a chance of moisture with a possibility of lightning. The fire will also generate erratic winds that may develop late this afternoon. In Jackson County, evacuation notices in effect include a Level 1 Evacuation ("Get Ready") for residents living along Highway 66 in Oregon. The addresses include anyone living between the 11,000 and the 22,000 block of Highway 66. [This is on t he Ashland side and does not impact people living in Keno.] A Level 3 ["Go"] Evacuation is in effect for portions of Copco Road. In Klamath County, Klamath County Sheriff's Office issued a Level 3 ["Go"] evacuation order for the Klamath River Canyon from John C. Boyle Dam to the California border. This includes Topsy Grade Road, Picard Road, and all other normally accessible roads south of Highway 66 east to the Klamath County line in Oregon. In Siskiyou County, CA, mandatory evacuations are in place one mile east of the town of Copco to Beaver Creek on the north side of Copco Lake. Information on this complex:

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: Late Saturday, August 2, the Stahl Canyon fire was detected about 14 miles east of Fossil - the fourth new fire where resources from the Haystack Complex assisted 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. Mop up continues on the Haystack and Steet fires, and infrared cameras con tinue 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. Given the past three 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." 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. The Hog Ridge Fire, located nine miles northwest of Dayville, is mapped at 55 acres. The School House Fire, located six miles east of Monument, is mapped at 73 acres. The Beard Canyon Fire, nine miles south of Fossil, is mapped at 12 acres. Information on this complex:

Fires on other jurisdictions in Oregon
More information on these fires can be found at: and

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

ODF maintains a blog at, which includes breaking news on wildfires statewide, along with current fire statistics, and a frequently updated Twitter feed at

For information on wildfires in other jurisdictions within Oregon, go to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center website, and to the national Incident Information System website at

Statewide air quality index readings are available at

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

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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

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.

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.


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.