Current situation

Gov. Kate Brown focused Oregon's attention on the active wildfire situation in Oregon at a morning news conference in Portland today. ODF's Chief of Fire Protection Doug Grafe and other state agencies shared how they are responding to the wildfire emergency the Gov. declared Wednesday.

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

Thursday, September 25, 2014

36 Pit Fire - Final update, Sept. 25, 2014

The Clackamas County Sheriff has lifted all evacuation notices.  Several roads remain closed to the general public, but open to residents.  Please call the Sheriff’s Office at 503-655-8224 or go to their web site at for more information. 

Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has opened Highway 224 to residents and workers escorted by pilot cars.  For updates related to the status of Highway 224, please contact ODOT at 503-539-8454 or go to

This will be the last fire update produced by the Washington Incident Management Team 2.  The Type 3 Team will assume command at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, September 26.   Periodic updates will be released as significant information becomes available.  The public phone line for the 36 Pit Fire will remain the same.  For information on the current fire situation you can continue to call 503-630-1711.  The Mt. Hood Facebook and Inciweb pages may only be update once per day as information is gathered.
At the northwest, northern, and southern perimeters of the fire, firefighters continue to mop up hot spots, remove water hoses, and complete fire suppression repair activities.  At the western flank of the fire near the 45 Road/Hillockburn Road, crews are improving fire lines and mopping up hot spots 200-300 feet in from the fire perimeter.  Four and a half miles of “prepping” on the 45 Road/Hillockburn Road as well as roads at the head waters of the South Fork of the Clackamas River are expected to be completed by end of today’s shift.  Small trees and brush are being removed and chipped to reinforce fire lines.  Stopping the progression of the fire toward the west continues to be the priority.  Demobilization of fire crews has begun with twelve crews and two dozen engines completing their assignments today.
The 36 Pit Fire is now estimated to be 5,520 acres in size and at 55 percent containment. Hazards to crews continue which include extremely steep terrain presenting crews with footing difficulties, rolling debris, fire weakened trees, and muddy roads. 
Members of the public have been inquiring about the effects of the fire.  The intensity of the fire has varied within the fire area.  Some areas of the fire have intensely burned consuming all vegetation while other areas have burned moderately or lightly where the effects of the fire can be characterized as a mosaic burn.

Last night, a public meeting was held at the First Baptist Church in Estacada. Community members attending the meeting gave fire officials a positive response to the fire suppression effort and to future suppression plans.

There are many factors that contribute to a safe and effective operation, but one of the most important is planning.  Washington Incident Management Team 2 advocates the use of a P.A.C.E. operation model as one tool to optimize performance.  P.A.C.E. is an acronym that stands for Primary, Alternate, Contingency, and Emergency plans.  Many understand the value of a “Plan B”, but frequently an alternate plan is never developed.  P.A.C.E. advocates developing second, third, and fourth options in advance.  The military has used the P.A.C.E. model for some time to manage the risks of combat operations.  While the specific risk factors and consequences may be different in the civilian world, the value of thorough planning and preparation applies to virtually all endeavors, particularly complex ones.  Washington Incident Management Team 2 uses P.A.C.E. to continually remind managers, supervisors, and firefighters to be alert to changes in their situation and be prepared with appropriate responses.

The Lazy Bend Camp and Work Center is closed.
Promontory Park is closed.
The La Dee OHV area is closed.

Members of the Washington Incident Management Team 2 would like to thank the public for their continued patience and support during the 36 Pit Fire. 

For more information on the 36 Pit Fire call (503) 630-1711.  For information related to smoke go to:  



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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.

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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.