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.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Pacific Northwest 2014 highlight fire statistics

Following is a summary of various wildfire statistics for the Pacific Northwest Region (Oregon and Washington) in 2014 through Oct. 10:

  • To date, 1,260,088 acres in the Northwest have been consumed by wildfire, which includes 846,945 in Oregon and 413,143 in Washington.

  • There have been a total of 3,506 reported fires in the Northwest region with 93 meeting the criteria of a large fire, which includes 58 in Oregon and 35 in Washington.

  • The NW had a record setting 43 days at No. 1 on the National Incident Management Situation Report.

  • The NW stayed at Preparedness Level 5 for 31 days; the previous record was set in 2006 for 24 days.

  • To date, there have been a total of 128,513 lightning strikes. The single largest day in 2014 recorded 21,094 strikes.

  • In Oregon, the largest fire/complex was the Buzzard Complex for a total of 395,747 acres.

  • The largest fire/complex in Washington was the Carlton Complex at 256,108 acres.

  • The total cost to date exceeds $458,732,493, which includes $278,652,132 in Oregon and $180,080,361 in Washington.

  • During the peak fire activity there were over 12,000 firefighters and support personnel working over 900,000 active fire acres.
  • Over 35 Interagency Hotshot Crews from all over the nation were assigned within the region.
  • During the peak fire activity, the Northwest region saw 19 Incident Management Teams assigned at the same time. 

  • In 2013 the NW had 4,389 reported fires with a total of 503,993 acres

  • To date there have been 2,024 lightning fires and 1,482 human-caused fires. 

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Comments and questions

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.


About Me

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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.