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.

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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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.

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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.