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.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Rowena Fire update - Aug. 11, morning

Rowena Fire
Morning Information Update
August 11, 2014

Oregon Department of Forestry
Incident Management Team 1
John Buckman, Incident Commander
A small spot fire flared up in grass and scrub oak on McCall Point (the SW corner of the fire) at approximately 2:30 p.m. yesterday. It was quickly knocked down at approximately 7 acres by using water bucket drops from a helicopter, engines, and crew personnel already on the fire. Control action on the spot fire continued through the remainder of the day shift. Line was constructed and hose lay installed. 
Following work with helicopter bucket drops, snags were felled and mop up continued on the steep slopes above the homes along Highway 30.
During the night shift, infrared cameras were used to locate remaining hot spots in the spot fire on McCall Point and around structures in Divisions A and B.

Five Department of Corrections crews were utilized in the spot fire during the night shift, to further improve the line and mop up.
The remainder of the fire looks very good. Crews are close to meeting mop-up objectives.

Structural protection
Structure protection is 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 were dropped for all areas except Rowena from addresses 5220-6464 on Highway 30 to the west.
Highway 30 is now open.

Safety tips and information for residents who are returning to their homes can be found here on the Oregon Fire Marshal’s website:

Fire strategy for today
Aggressive mop up will continue on McCall Point with engines and crews. Helicopter bucket drops will be made on the steep inaccessible slopes to cool hot spots. Roads accessing the McCall Point area will be improved. Some contingency lines will be constructed. Firefighters will continue to secure fireline and areas around homes and structures with a minimum 300 foot objective.

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

Size: 3,680 acres
Location: The Dalles, OR
Containment: 68%
Cause: Under Investigation
Personnel: 402
Estimated ODF/OSFM Cost: $3,680,553
Evacuations and Road Closures: Wasco County Sheriff Evacuation Hotline: 541-506-2792
Hwy 30 W between 5220 and 6464
Media Only Contact Phone: 971-701-4193
For More Information: Information phones are staffed 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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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 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.


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.