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.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

36 Pit Fire Update

Washington IMT 2 Incident Commander – Bruce Holloway
ODF Incident Commander – Russ Lane
Oregon Fire Marshal Blue Team Incident Commander – Scott Magers

36 Pit Fire Update
September 18, 2014 – 9:00 AM

INFO PHONE: 360-280-4352 or 503-630-1711
EMAIL: Fire Information Office Hours: 8:00 am -8:00 pm
Excellent progress continues to be made by firefighters to contain the 36 Pit Fire. The northwestern portion of the fire which is closest to any homes or structures is becoming more secure. The northwestern and northern flanks of the fire are nearly completely lined. Firefighters are mopping up and putting out hot spots adjacent to the firelines, making the lines more secure. Last night, crews continued to mop up hot spots and secure the area of the fire closest to the Silver Fox RV Park.
Yesterday, residents of the RV Park were escorted by Estacada Fire District and the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s IMT Blue Team personnel allowing residents to obtain necessities from their homes.
The fire is burning in extremely steep terrain presenting crews with hazards such as rolling debris. However, elite hot shot crews are building hand line at the fire’s southern perimeter from the ridge tops to the highway and Clackamas River. Today, crews also plan to build hand line directly adjacent to the southern perimeter of the fire located south of Highway 224. In addition, contingency containment lines are being “prepped” along roads located near the southern perimeter of the fire. “Prepping” of these roads consists of removing smaller understory trees and brush resulting in the roads becoming more defensible should the fire approach these roads.
Fire managers are evaluating whether the South Fork of the Clackamas River would serve as a good barrier to the fire. However, contingency plans are being developed to contain the fire should the fire move west of the South Fork. The fire has not moved appreciably in any direction since its initial spread last Sunday and Monday.
Due to the decreased threat to structures, the Oregon Fire Marshal Blue Team will be demobilizing at end of today’s shift. The Unified Command Team has been greatly appreciative of the team’s contribution to the suppression of this fire.
Weather conditions continue to assist firefighters in their efforts to suppress the fire. Cooler temperatures, light winds, and high humidity including some measureable rain are predicted through tomorrow. Fire managers intend to take advantage of the favorable weather to suppress the fire before the expected warm and dry weather on Saturday.
Local resource advisors have also been an integral component of the fire suppression team. Resource Advisors collaborate with fire managers to fight fire aggressively while protecting resources such as fisheries, cultural resources and wilderness values. If the fire moves into a congressionally designated wilderness area, minimum impact suppression tactics (MIST) will be implemented.
The public is urged to be aware of increased fire related traffic on local roads and to drive defensively. For information related to evacuations, please go to: or call 503-655-8224. Information related to smoke can be found at: For more information, please use the contact information listed above.

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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.


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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.