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.

Monday, August 25, 2014

South Fork Complex Update

Today a local fire management organization took over command of the South Fork Complex from Oregon Team 2. The fire information number has changed to 541-575-3000.

Road 24 will be temporarily closed from the Malhear NF boundary, west to the 42 Road. Firefighters will be cutting snags (fire-killed hazardous trees) in the area.

Crews continued to make good progress with securing the fire perimeter in all flanks of the fire. Firefighters are working cautiously in areas near the old Thorn Creek Fire where numerous snags are posing a significant risk. Aerial reconnaissance was used to patrol the perimeter and monitor fire behavior.

Weather and Fire Behavior
The forecast is for partly cloudy skies with isolated afternoon thunderstorms. Temperatures will be in the 60s-70s in the valleys and relative humidities dropping into the 20% range. Starting Tuesday a high pressure will be building throughout the week. This will bring a warming and drying trend. Winds will become light and variable.

Fire behavior includes creeping with isolated flare ups. As the weather warms up, single tree torching may occur.

Today’s Operations

In the southern and eastern flanks mop-up, patrol and fire suppression repair will continue. The north and west perimeters are being patrolled and monitored from the air. Aerial support is available for bucket drops on the fire and for initial attack operations.

Due to decreased fire activity in and around the South Fork Complex, the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Grant County Sheriff’s Office have reduced closure areas and evacuation levels. For details and maps of the closure changes see:

Forest visitors traveling in the area this weekend are advised to drive slowly along the narrow forest roads and be aware of the possibility of falling trees weakened from fire, rolling rocks and fire traffic. Note – The Forest Road 21 is closed between the NF boundary on the north and the junction of Rd. 2108.

Maps and other information, are available online at

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Comments and questions

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.