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.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Fire restrictions tighten June 19 in NW Oregon - includes Tillamook, Clatsop State Forests

June 17, 2015

Mike Cafferata
Oregon Dept. of Forestry

The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) will tighten fire prevention rules starting June 19 in northwestern Oregon, including the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests, and private lands in the Northwest Oregon Forest Protective Association.

“In order to keep communities safe and avoid wildfire risk, we’ll begin restrictions on public use of the forest on Friday. These restrictions ban fireworks, exploding targets, campfires outside of designated locations, and other fire-prone activities,” said Mike Cafferata, ODF District Forester. “These restrictions respond to the extremely dry conditions we’re experiencing and to the Sunset Grade Fire, which we believe was started by one of these activities last weekend.”

The following restrictions on activities in the forest will apply starting June 19:

  • Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in closed vehicles on improved roads.
  • Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except at designated locations. Use of wood-burning devices, used in conjunction with temporary dwellings, including tents and trailers, is prohibited. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed.
  • Use of motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, is prohibited, except on improved roads and designated areas.
  • Possession of the following firefighting equipment is required while traveling, except on state highways, county roads and driveways: one shovel and one gallon of water or one operational 2-½ pound or larger fire extinguisher.
  • Use of fireworks is prohibited.
  • Cutting, grinding and welding of metal is prohibited.

In addition, the following items are banned throughout the wildfire season as well as during the current period of tightened safety restrictions: Use of exploding targets, tracer ammunition and sky lanterns is prohibited.

Contact the Tillamook, Astoria or Forest Grove district offices for more information about the fire prevention rules. Contact information available at:

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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.