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 @ 9:30 p.m.

Scoggins Creek Fire - Evening Media Release – September 21, 2014
Oregon Department of Forestry Incident Management Team 2, IC Cline
September 21, 2014, 9:30 p.m.

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

Cooperating Partners:
• Washington County Emergency Operation Center

• Washington County Sheriff
• American Red Cross
• Stimson Lumber Company
• Gaston RFPD
• Forest Grove FD
• Washington County Fire Defense Board Chief

Current Situation:

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office reduced all evacuation orders to Level I.

After determining the threat to homes and structures significantly decreased, the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Green Team transitioned its responsibility back to Gaston Rural Fire Protection District and returned home today. The unified effort and steady work over the weekend by the Fire Marshal’s and the Oregon Department of Forestry’s teams made it possible for those evacuated to return home tonight.

The community support and the Teams’ work also prevented the fire from spreading and burning Oregon State Capitol’s holiday tree supply. Stimson Lumber donates the holiday tree for the Capitol annually. The tree typically comes from one of Stimson’s forests near the fire. “We’re all looking forward to getting closer to the season change. Hopefully, that means a lot of rain after this long fire season,” said Incident Commander Chris Cline.

A community meeting hosted by the Gaston Fire Department tonight and attended by about 150 people was a success. The community and the agencies expressed their mutual appreciation for everyone’s cooperative effort.

Commenting on the Hagg Lake water usage to fight the fire, Tualatin Valley Irrigation District (TVID) Manager Joe Rutledge said, “120,000 gallons is insignificant to the stakeholder needs. TVID operates Scoggins Dam under contract with the Bureau of Reclamation, and coordinates daily releases for the stakeholders. The stakeholders are TVID, cities of Hillsboro, Beaverton, Forest Grove, Clean Water Services, and Lake Oswego Corp.”

Fire at a Glance:

Size: Estimated 211 acres
Cause: under investigation
Containment: 55%
Expected Containment: 9-24-14
Crews and Equipment:
Crews: 25
Helicopters: 5
Engines: 8
Dozers: 5
Water Tenders: 11
Total personnel: 669
Estimated Costs to Date: $1.37 Million

For More Information:
Twitter: @scogginsfire

Evacuations: Washington County Sheriff’s office at: 503-846-2999 or Twitter: @forestgrovefire


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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.