Current situation

Fires in the Garner Complex in Josephine County have burned close to a 1,000 acres since Sunday. ODF Incident Management Team 2 has taken command of the Complex to allow the Southwest Oregon District to focus on dozens of other lightning-sparked wildfires. While temperatures in many parts of Oregon won't be quite as hot today, conditions are drier than normal for this time of year. The U.S. Drought Monitor reports that 99% of Oregonians live in areas that are abnormally dry or in moderate drought, with southeast Oregon already in severe drought.

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 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

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.

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.