Current situation

Hot, dry weather continues to dry out fuels. That makes any fires that do get started likely to spread quickly and be harder to put out. As a result, many ODF districts and forest protective associations are tightening restrictions on activities linked to fire starts. For example, fire danger in the Douglas Forest Protective Association and The Dalles Unit of ODF's Central Oregon District is now rated as extreme. Check ODF's fire restrictions and closures web page for the latest details at http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx













Friday, June 12, 2015

South Cascade, Western Lane districts to declare fire season June 16

June 12, 2015                                                    
      
It’s already dry, and the heat is on its way. Those two factors prompted the Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Western Lane and South Cascade districts to declare wildfire season starting Tuesday, June 16.

“Conditions are setting up for increased fire danger,” South Cascade District Forester Greg Wagenblast said. “We’re in a cool-down period right now, but the hot weather is forecast to return soon.”

A declaration of fire season imposes certain restrictions on recreational and work activities in the forest. Industrial operations are required to have firefighting equipment on site. Since restrictions may vary, it is advisable to check with the nearest ODF office for rules specific to the local area.

The Western Lane and South Cascade districts together encompass all of Lane County as well as eastern Linn County and portions of northern Douglas County.

Though backyard debris burning is still allowed through June 15, he advised extreme caution.

“Have a garden hose and shovel ready near your burn pile, and attend it at all times,” he said.

Escaped debris burns are a common cause of wildfires every year in Oregon. These damaging fires often occur when the homeowner leaves the burn unattended to pursue some other activity. All it takes is a spark from the pile to drop into nearby dry grass, add a little wind, and it’s game on.

The Keep Oregon Green Association offers practical wildfire prevention tips for around the home and in the forest at: keeporegongreen.com. 

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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: 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.