Current situation

Fires in the Garner Complex in Josephine County have burned close to a 1,000 acres since Sunday. ODF Incident Management Team 2 has taken command of the Complex to allow the Southwest Oregon District to focus on dozens of other lightning-sparked wildfires. While temperatures in many parts of Oregon won't be quite as hot today, conditions are drier than normal for this time of year. The U.S. Drought Monitor reports that 99% of Oregonians live in areas that are abnormally dry or in moderate drought, with southeast Oregon already in severe drought.

Many ODF districts and forest protective associations have raised their fire danger level and tightened restrictions on activities linked to fire starts. Check ODF's fire restrictions and closures web page for the latest details at

Friday, August 8, 2014

Rowena Fire update - Aug. 8, evening

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

Oregon State Fire Marshal's Office
Incident Management Green Team
John Ingrao, Incident Commander

Rowena Fire
Daily Evening Information Update
August 8, 2014

Crews from the Oregon Department of Forestry and Oregon State Fire Marshal's Office worked throughout the day to conduct burnout operations and improve containment lines.

No structures were lost during today's operations, which focused on burning off dry fuel and creating defensible space around homes and outbuildings in the town of Rowena. Despite a Red Flag Warning and high winds, incident commanders are extremely pleased with the progress crews made on the fire lines today.

"We have gone hard at this fire for all the right reasons," said Oregon Department of Forestry Incident Commander John Buckman. "We turned the corner today and things are looking much better."

Structural protection
In an ongoing effort to protect structures, firefighters used thermal imaging cameras (TICs) to identify hot spots on properties where the fire has burned a path up to the structure and then extinguished them.

A total of 740 residences remain threatened at this time. The Wasco County Sheriff's Office and incident commanders are evaluating the ongoing need for evacuations and will begin allowing residents back into their homes as soon as it is determined that it is safe for them to return.

Total residences impacted by the evacuation orders remain unchanged since this morning's release and include 143 Level 3 and 597 Level 1.

4595 Hwy 30 west to 6464 Hwy 30, including Simonelli Rd, Tooley Terrace, Adeline Way and the Country Club.

Murray's Addition, Foley Lakes, residences along Chenowith Loop West. Also Division Street Development residences along Seven Mile Road.

An evacuation shelter has been set up by the Red Cross at Dry Hollow Elementary School located at 1314 E 19th, The Dalles.

Fire Strategy for Tonight
Tonight, fire control work will focus on holding all constructed fire lines, continuing burnout operations, and conducting an infrared flight tonight over the fire. Temperatures are expected to begin rising into the 90's on Sunday, so crews will continue to take advantage of cooler temperatures tonight and tomorrow to contain the fire. Safety officers are urging caution as some firefighters are encountering poison oak during the course of firefighter operations.

Unified Command
The fire is being managed under a unified command between the Oregon State Fire Marshal's Office and Oregon Department of Forestry. This Unified Command is working for ODF Central Oregon District, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and Mid Columbia Fire & Rescue.

Fire at a glance:

Size: 3,372 acres

Location: The Dalles, Oregon

Containment: 35%

Cause: Under Investigation

 Personnel: 659

 Estimated cost: $1,908,342

 Evacuations and road closures: Wasco County Sheriff Evacuation Hotline: 541-506-2792

Closures/Restrictions: Hwy 30 between The Dalles Country Club and Rowena

News media only contact phone: 971-701-4193

For more information: Information phones will be 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

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.