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. This late in the fall, a key source of ignitions is fire escaping when piles of woody debris are burned. Care is required with that activity at any time of year.
































Sunday, August 10, 2014

Rowena Fire Update - Aug. 10

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

Rowena Fire
Morning Information Update 
August 10, 2014

Size: 3,673 acres
Location: The Dalles, OR
Containment: 65%
Cause: Under Investigation
Personnel: 610
Estimated ODF/OSFM Cost: $3,205,216
Evacuations and Road Closures: Wasco County Sheriff Evacuation Hotline: 541-506-2792
Closures/Restrictions: Hwy 30 between The Dalles Country Club and Rowena 
Media Only Contact Phone: 
971-701-4193
For More Information: Information phones are staffed 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
971-701-4186
971-701-4212

Summary
Steady progress has been made to extinguish remaining hotspots and smokes in the Adeline Way, Simonelli Road, and Foley Lakes communities within 200-300 of homes and structures.  Crews also continue with aggressive mop-up to secure the fireline. 

A small section of Highway 30 will remain closed for the safety of the public and firefighters, as work is completed to fall remaining snags from steep slopes above the road. Rolling debris also remains a hazard in the area.

Structural protection
Structure protection is once again being provided by Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue through the 911 system.  
Wildland resources remain on the fire for mop-up.

Evacuations / Road Closures
Evacuation levels remain at a Level I (Get Ready) for all residents living on Highway 30 West.  Residents that choose to return home are again reminded to be cautious of ongoing firefighting efforts. 

Roadblocks on a small portion of Highway 30 West remain in place with no through traffic on Highway 30 between the addresses of 4877 and 5220. 

Residents living to the east of 4877 Highway 30, the intersection with Adeline Way, should access their homes via Interstate 84 exit 82.  This includes Tooley Terrace, Adeline Way, and Simonellli Road.

Residents living to the west of 5220 Highway 30 should access their homes via Interstate 84 exit 76.

Safety tips and information for residents who are returning to their homes can be found here on the Oregon Fire Marshal’s website:  http://www.oregon.gov/osp/SFM/docs/Comm_Ed/WUI/After_a_wildfire.pdf

Fire strategy for today
An infra-red flight is being conducted this morning with a helicopter to help with detection of remaining fire hot spots.  Firefighters will continue to secure fireline and areas around homes and structures with a minimum 300 foot objective.

Crews will remove unnecessary hose lays and equipment. They will also remove berms and construct waterbars along bulldozer-constructed lines.

Warnings
Increased traffic can still be expected in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. The Rowena Fire may be an attraction for Portland metro area visitors who have followed its progress in the news for the past few days. Law enforcement reminds travelers on I-84 not to stop on the Interstate to view the fire or take pictures.

The public is urged to be mindful of personal safety around ongoing firefighting operations.  Snag falling, aerial work with helicopters, and fire related traffic increase hazards in the area.

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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, in the summer of 2017 a series of heatwaves and a prolonged stretch of dry weather created conditions that dried forest fuels, allowing fires to start and spread. The result was more than a thousand fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.Ninety-five percent of these 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.