Current situation

Fires in the Garner Complex in Josephine County have burned close to a 1,000 acres since Sunday. ODF Incident Management Team 2 has taken command of the Complex to allow the Southwest Oregon District to focus on dozens of other lightning-sparked wildfires. While temperatures in many parts of Oregon won't be quite as hot today, conditions are drier than normal for this time of year. The U.S. Drought Monitor reports that 99% of Oregonians live in areas that are abnormally dry or in moderate drought, with southeast Oregon already in severe drought.

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 http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx





Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Early-season wildfire burns 30 acres in forest

Hot, dry weather prompts conditions similar to those in September 2014

A wildfire tore through 30 acres of the Tillamook State Forest last Saturday, June 13.
The Sunset Grade Fire began around noon, then burned through the night and into Sunday morning before firefighters extinguished it. Crews from the Oregon Department of Forestry as well as the Forest Grove and Banks fire departments worked together to subdue the blaze.

Since Jan. 1, a total of 226 fires have burned 505 acres of Department of Forestry land, compared to the 10-year average of 135 fires burning 1,127 acres during the same period, the department’s website states. More than half of those fires were human-caused.

The site also mentions the early onset of dry-weather conditions this year, as does Forest Grove Fire & Rescue’s Facebook page: “This fire is proof that we are seeing conditions usually seen in the middle of July. And it is very dry out there. Be very cautious when out in the forest lands around the state or even in our back yard.”

Tuesday morning, KOIN 6 News went even further when it came to the Forest Grove fire station to report on the beginning of wildfire season in Forest Grove, Astoria and Tillamook. Oregon is already so hot and dry, KOIN reported, that conditions statewide are similar to those in September of last year, when the Scoggins Creek Fire near Hagg Lake between Forest Grove and Gaston scorched more than 200 acres.

[Article from the Forest Grove News-Times]

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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

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.

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.