Current situation

Winter and spring see lots of controlled burns in Oregon to eliminate piles of woody debris left over after logging or thinning. Embers buried in the ashes of these pile burns can sometimes reignite even days after a fire appears to be out, especially if winds blow away ashy debris. The same winds can then fan smoldering embers back to life. That's why it's a good idea to keep checking old pile burns to ensure no hot spots have rekindled.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Rowena Fire update - Aug. 8

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

Oregon State Fire Marshall Office
Incident Management Green Team
John Ingrao, Incident Commander

Rowena Fire

Daily Morning Information Update

August 8, 2014
Crews from the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) and Oregon State Fire Marshal (OSFM)
worked throughout the night improving containment lines. Burnout operations were successful
on the west flank of the fire. Containment improved from zero to 35 percent overnight.
More than 100 people attended Thursday night’s public meeting at The Dalles High School. 
Questions centered on the evacuations, when residents will be able to return to their homes, and
containment efforts. ODF and OSFM incident Commanders provided current status of the fire
and plans for its containment. Representatives of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
and Wasco County Sherriff’s Office also spoke. 
Structural protection
The fire is wind-driven to the east with fire spread occurring south and east of Rowena. Structure
protection by six task forces will continue throughout the day to improve defensible space around
homes and outbuildings.
When the Foley Lakes and Country Club fires flared up, task forces assigned to night shift were
activated to respond. Firefighting efforts will again be centered on this area today to protect homes
and create defensible space.

A total of 740 residences are threatened at this time. 
Residences impacted include: 143 Level 3, and 597 Level 1.

Level-3: 4595 Hwy 30 west to 6464 Hwy 30, including Simonelli Rd, Tooley Terrace, Adeline Way
and the Country Club.

Level-1: 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 Today
Today, fire control work will focus on holding all constructed fire lines, continuing burnout operations
and conducting an infrared flight tonight over the fire.

High winds continue with a Red Flag Warning in effect through 12 p.m. Friday. Wind gusts up to 30
miles per hour are expected.
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's Central Oregon
District, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and Mid Columbia Fire & Rescue.

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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 mountain snowpack. It didn't take long for that to melt and vegetation to dry out due to a series of heatwaves and a prolonged stretch of dry weather over the summer. As forest fuels dried, fires started and spread, many from lands adjacent to those protected by ODF, such as the Chetco Bar Fire in Curry County. That one fire accounted for 46% of the 47,537 acres of land protected by ODF which burned in 2017. Of fires originating on ODF-protected land, 95% 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.