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.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Rowena Fire Update

The Rowena Fire near The Dalles has experienced significant increased fire activity in the past hour.

Level 3 evacuations are now in place for all areas east of the fire perimeter and west of Irvine Street, southwest to Murray's Addition. This includes all areas that were previously a Level 1, including Foley Lakes, Simonelli Road, Tooley Terrace, and Adeline Way, as well as all residences along Hwy 30 between exit 82 and the Rowena interchange.

Level 1 evacuation notices are currently in place for all residences along Division street developments.

A Red Cross shelter has been established at Dry Hollow Elementary at 1314 E. 19th Street for those displaced by the fire. Home at Last - 541-296-5189 - is offering sheltering services for dogs and cats if owners have no other options for their pets. Livestock sheltering is being coordinated by Nan Wimmers, 541-993-5510.

Highway 30 is closed between The Dalles Country Club and Rowena; citizens are asked to keep away from the area in order to avoid interfering with firefighting operations.

The Incident Command Post is set up at Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue, 1400 W. 8th Street, The Dalles.

Recorded updates are available at the Rowena Fire hotline: 541-506-2792.

This is a rapidly changing situation. Please stay tuned for additional information.

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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.