Current situation

Gov. Kate Brown focused Oregon's attention on the active wildfire situation in Oregon at a morning news conference in Portland today. ODF's Chief of Fire Protection Doug Grafe and other state agencies shared how they are responding to the wildfire emergency the Gov. declared Wednesday.

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

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Scoggins Valley Park at Hagg Lake to Re-open Wednesday

Washington County issued the following news release on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 @ 2 p.m. PDT


With the Scoggins Creek Fire approaching full containment, Washington County officials plan to re-open Scoggins Valley Park at Hagg Lake at dawn Wednesday, September 24. The park had been closed since September 19 due to the Scoggins Creek Fire that had engulfed just over 200 acres of privately owned forest land.

State officials plan to monitor conditions frequently throughout the remainder of fire season.

“We are thankful to our neighbors throughout the Hagg Lake area who were affected by this fire and to the patrons of Scoggins Valley Park for their patience throughout this ordeal,” said Todd Winter, park superintendent. “We owe a deep debt of gratitude to all the first-responders and their home and supporting agencies. The bravery, professionalism and commitment demonstrated throughout this incident has been tremendous.”

The Scoggins Creek Fire drew an immediate response from the Gaston Rural Fire District, Cornelius Fire, Forest Grove Fire and Rescue, Hillsboro Fire and Rescue, Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, MetroWest Ambulance and the Washington County Consolidated Communications Agency. Support also came from the American Red Cross, Clean Water Services, Gaston School District, Hillsboro Water Department, the Joint Water Commission, Stimson Lumber, Tualatin Valley Irrigation District, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Washington County Fire Defense Board, Washington County Animal Services, Washington County Emergency Management, Land Use and Transportation and Public Health.

With help from the Oregon State Fire Marshal, Oregon Department of Forestry and the Governor’s Office, command of the incident transitioned to state incident management teams directing fire suppression operations by state wildland fire fighters from throughout Oregon.

Coordination of this multi-agency effort came from the emergency operations centers that activated at Washington County and at the cities of Cornelius, Forest Grove and Gaston. The federal and state agencies supporting the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center also contributed to the effort.

Created by Scoggins Dam in 1975, Hagg Lake was designed as a reservoir for drinking, agricultural and commercial uses. Through a cooperative agreement with the lake’s owner, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Washington County operates Scoggins Valley Park as a site for boating, fishing and other recreational uses.

Todd Winter, Scoggins Valley Park Superintendent, 503-357-5732,
Philip Bransford, Communications Officer, Washington County Administrative Office, 503-846-8685,

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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.

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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.