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.

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:

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.

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.


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.