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.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

36Pit Fire Update, 9-27-14

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.

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

The Mt. Hood National Forest also has fire closure areas in affect (Closure Order: MH-2014-13), for more information please visit their website at

The Type 3 team assumed command at 8:00 p.m. Friday, 9/26, and will release periodic updates as significant information becomes available.  503-630-1711 will remain as the fire information phone number.  Facebook and Inciweb pages may only be updated once per day.

The 36 pit fire is now estimated to be 5,520 acres in size and at 65 percent containment. At the northwest, northern, and southern perimeters of the fire, firefighters continue to patrol and complete fire suppression repair activities.  At the western flank of the fire near the 45 Road/Hillockburn Road, crews are prepping roads that will be used to reinforce the fire lines. Stopping the progression of the fire toward the west continues to be the priority.

Hazards to crews include: extremely steep terrain presenting crews with footing difficulties; rolling debris; and fire weakened trees, and muddy roads.  Heavy fuels within the fire perimeter will continue to smolder and may create visible smoke. 

The public is urged to be aware of increased fire related traffic on local roads and to drive defensively.

Information related to smoke can be found at:

For more info. on 36Pit Fire:
INFO PHONE:  503-630-1711  Office Hours:  8:00 am - 6:00 pm

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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.