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.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) daily fire update for Sunday, June 28, 2015.

Due to exceptionally dry landscape and drought conditions, hot weather and forecasted lightning, the risk of extreme fire activity has remained high through the weekend and into this coming week. The Oregon Department of Forestry, forestland owners and agency partners are prepared to manage conditions usually experienced in late July or early August. 

Saturday, an excessive heat warning was in effect for the Willamette Valley including the greater Portland and Vancouver area, the lower Columbia and the western and central Columbia River gorge. The Northwest Interagency Coordination Center in Portland advises that “A surge of moisture and instability will continue moving northward across Oregon and Washington today and tonight. Lightning strikes are expected to ignite new fires despite showers with the thunderstorms. The combination of fire danger, instability, and numerous lightning strikes is creating nearly optimum conditions for ignition and growth of large, costly fires across much of the geographic area through Monday before conditions moderate during the new week."
Sugar Loaf Fire was reported burning Saturday burning in grass and timber in central Oregon on BLM land 9 miles north of Dayville. Extreme Fire behavior with residences evacuated and one outbuilding destroyed. Fire size is estimated at 5,500 acres. A State Type I Team is being assigned to this fire. Evacuations are being coordinated by the Grant County Sheriff's Office. 

In addition to the Sugarloaf fire, firefighters are working on The Buck Creek Fire (#250) located 18 miles northeast of Hampton, Oregon, which held at 250 acres overnight; and the Bear Creek Fire (#251) located 7 miles south of Prineville Reservoir near Bear Creek Butte. This fire held at 30 acres overnight. Crews will continue to hold and improve containment lines on these fires today. No estimate of containment is currently available.

Red Flag Warnings remain in effect through 9 p.m. tonight for lightning, primarily in areas east of Prineville. As the 4th of July holiday approaches, fire officials also want to remind everyone that possession or use of fireworks on Forest Service or BLM land is illegal.

The lightning-caused Buckskin Fire (USFS) reported June 11 burning 10 miles SW of Cave Junction on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest is 5,345 acres and 60 percent contained. More info available at:
The lightning-caused Bunker Hill Fire (USFS) reported June 26 burning 30 miles SE of Oakridge, OR., is 150 acres and 0 percent contained. More info available at:

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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:

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, in the summer of 2017 a series of heatwaves and a prolonged stretch of dry weather created conditions that dried forest fuels, allowing fires to start and spread. The result was more than a thousand fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.Ninety-five percent of these 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.