2015 another severe fire season

A cool, wet winter and heavy snowpack delayed the start of fire season in much of western and northeastern Oregon. However, the onset of hotter, drier weather is quickly drying out forests and rangeland, making it easier for fires to start. More than half of ODF-protected lands are in districts that have declared the start of fire season this month. It's especially important as summer approaches to avoid or be extra careful with any potential source of fire in wooded areas. Fire season means the end of most outdoor activities that are high risk for starting a fire, such as debris burning, campfires outside of designated areas, and using tracer ammunition and exploding targets.







Saturday, September 6, 2014

Yellow Point Fire update - Sept. 6, 2:30 p.m.

Yellow Point Fire update - Sept. 6, 2:30 p.m.
Oregon Department of Forestry
Incident Management Team 3
Dan Thorpe, Incident Commander

The Yellow Point Fire, which broke out shortly after 5 p.m. Friday afternoon, is roughly 220 acres. The fire is located about 25 miles west of Cottage Grove. No homes or structures are threatened and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

The Red Flag Warning that was issued Friday and is expected to last through this evening has been a driving factor for the sudden growth of the fire. The Warning emphasized temperatures in the 90s, relative humidity in the low teens and strong, dry winds out of the north and northeast.

The fire is burning in timber and logging slash in a remote area that lies in the footprint of the historic 1966 Oxbow Fire. That fire, one of the largest in Oregon at that time, burned about 42,000 acres and took one life.

Oregon Department of Forestry's Incident Management Team 3 (IC Dan Thorpe) assumed command of the fire this afternoon.

Current resources on the fire include three engines, eight hand crews, eight helicopters and three retardant dropping air tankers.

Due to excessive fire traffic, smoky conditions and narrow roads, the public is encouraged to stay clear of the area. Road closures in effect include South Sisters Road east of the Upper Smith Road and South Sisters Road junction and Oxbow Access Road west of Siuslaw River Road.

Oregon Department of Forestry fire crews are being assisted by local landowner resources and fire districts. Cooperating agencies included BLM, Lane Fire Authority, Dexter Fire District, Lowell Fire District, Mohawk Valley Fire District, Lane County Administrative Office, and the Douglas and Lane County Sheriff's Offices.

The Incident Command Post is located in Alma at the Forest Work Center.

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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: information@odf.state.or.us.

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, even in non-drought years Oregon's warm, dry summers create conditions that allow for fire to start and spread. In an average summer firefighters still see almost a thousand fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.



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. There are about 30.4 million total 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.