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. With the end of wildfire season in Oregon, firefighting resources are now more available. As a result, several public and private engines and crews have been dispatched to California to assist with the devastating wildfires there.































Saturday, August 9, 2014

Rowena Fire update - Aug. 9 morning

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

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

 
Rowena Fire
Daily Morning Information Update
August 9, 2014

Fire summary
Despite strong winds and low humidity, burnout operations yesterday and through last night were successful. Fire containment has increased from 35 to 55 percent.
Containment lines are in place and the fire threat to the Adeline Way, Simonelli Road, and Foley Lakes communities is diminishing. Incident Commanders and the Wasco County Sheriff’s Office evaluated the evacuation order and have determined that all 740 residences that have been under a Level 1 or Level 3 evacuation order will be at Level 1. All residents may return to their homes. Please read below for specific information on roadblocks.

Today, firefighters will continue to focus on removing unburned fuel and holding containment lines.

Structural protection
Burnout operations took place along the slopes above the affected communities and were successful, taking out unburned fuel from Old Highway 30 to the flame front. There was no report of structural loss overnight.

Evacuations
A total of 740 residences have been under a Level 1 or Level 3 evacuation order. Evacuation levels have been reduced to a Level I (Get Ready) for all residents living on Highway 30 West. Residents may return home at this time, but are asked to be alert for changing conditions and cautious of firefighting efforts.

Roadblocks on Highway 30 West have been reduced and there will be 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
The evacuation shelter, which has been set up by the Red Cross at Dry Hollow Elementary School located at 1314 E 19th in The Dalles remains open at this time.

Fire strategy for today
Some crews will be demobilized today while other crews will be engaged with mop-up and watching for any additional hotspots. Today’s objectives will be to continue burning off unburned fuel and holding established containment lines.

Warnings
This weekend a high level of public traffic is expected in and through The Gorge area. The public is urged to be mindful of personal safety and ongoing firefighting operations, use caution when traveling near or around the fire, and to not stop along Interstate 84 to take photos or observe firefighting operations.

Governor’s visit
On Friday, Governor Kitzhaber visited the Rowena Fire area and the Incident Command Post. He called this year’s fire efforts "exceptional," and expressed thanks for the fire suppression efforts to date.

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.

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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: 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, even in non-drought years Oregon's warm, dry summers create conditions that allow for fire to start and spread. In an average summer firefighters still see almost a thousand fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.



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.