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.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Scoggins Creek Fire Update, September 21, 2014 @ 9 a.m.

Oregon Department of Forestry
Incident Management Team 2
Oregon State Fire Marshal Green Team

September 21, 2014 9:00 a.m.

NEW Fire Information Line: 503-846-2999 (8AM-8PM)

Cooperating Partners:

* Washington County Emergency Operation Center
* Washington County Sheriff
* American Red Cross
* Stimson Lumber Co.
* Gaston RFPD
* Forest Grove FD
* Washington County Fire Defense Board Chief


No changes to the evacuation areas. See below for more info.

Current Situation:

The #ScogginsCreekFire airshow, or at least the impressive aerial firefighting, will continue today. Overnight, firefighters continued digging line around the fire by hand.

The 597 personnel are working diligently in steep and rugged terrain with an eye to completing the line around the fire. The steps to containing the fire include:
1.Digging an initial line - from a few feet to a bulldozer blade wide - around the fire and structures at risk;
2.Improving the line by widening it so fire doesn't cross the line;
3.Laying hoses, placing water pumps, and installing plumbing along the line to get water to the fire;
4.Mop-up is done to eliminate all heat sources from the edge of the fire ranging from 100-300 feet into the burned area, "the black", to ensure the fire doesn't spread;
5.Declare the fire contained.
While hand crews dig the line along the sides of the fire, aircraft are often used to stop the head of the fire (the direction the fire is heading).

The work done over the past 24 hours greatly reduced the smoke from the #ScogginsCreekFire. Despite keeping the smoke to a minimum on the #ScogginsCreekFire, people may see smoke from other wildfires painting the sky.

"We're looking forward to declaring the fire contained," commented Oregon Department of Forestry Incident Commander Chris Cline. "In the meantime, we're doing all we can to keep our firefighters and the public safe."

Fire at a Glance (09/21/14)
Size: 307 acres
Cause: under investigation
Containment: 20%
Expected Containment: 9-24-14
Crews and Equipment:
Crews: 20
Helicopters: 6
Engines: 5
Dozers: 6
Water Tenders: 11
Total personnel: 597
Estimated Costs to Date: $991,251

Evacuation Levels:
Level 1 - Ready- 146 with 30-40 homes which are all residences on Tanner Creek Road and 116 homes in the Forest Grove Fire and Rescue District.
Level 2 - Set - 12-20 homes. All residences on Scoggins Valley Road east of SW Stepien Road to the intersection of Tanner Creek Road. All residences SW of West Shore Road from the intersection of Sain Creek Road to the intersection of SW Stepien Road. All residences on Scott Hill Road. All residences on the unnamed road just north of Scott Hill Road that intersects with SW West Shore Road.
Level 3 - Go - 60 homes evacuated from Stepien Road and Scoggins Valley Road west of the SW Stepien Road intersection and all residences on Sain Creek Road.

For more information about evacuations call 503-846-2999.

Joint Water Commission and Clean Water Services said, "At this time, there are no issues with drinking water supplies in Washington County. Water managers will continue to monitor the situation, and respond if needed."

For More Information:

Twitter: @scogginsfire
Washington County Sheriff's office at:
503-846-2999 or Twitter: @forestgrovefire

Visit our social media sites, Inciweb page, or call the Fire Information Line at 503-846-2999 for the latest information.

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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.