2015 another severe fire season

A cool, wet winter and heavy snowpack delayed the start of fire season in much of western and northeastern Oregon. However, the onset of hotter, drier weather is quickly drying out forests and rangeland, making it easier for fires to start. More than half of ODF-protected lands are in districts that have declared the start of fire season this month. It's especially important as summer approaches to avoid or be extra careful with any potential source of fire in wooded areas. Fire season means the end of most outdoor activities that are high risk for starting a fire, such as debris burning, campfires outside of designated areas, and using tracer ammunition and exploding targets.







Friday, June 26, 2015

Wildfire summary for week ending June 26, 2015

Wildfire activity on the 16 million acres of private and public lands protected by the Oregon Dept. of Forestry (ODF) was relatively light this past week. Fire managers are currently focused on fire weather conditions predicted to set up today and continue into the weekend.

The Northwest Interagency Coordination Center in Portland advises that "Lightning and atmospheric instability are expected to begin over sections of southern Oregon today and spread northward over the weekend. Fire danger indices have climbed high enough to warrant elevated risk of large fires due to the number of lightning strikes expected over the weekend. A number of sections of Oregon and Washington will be affected, so pay attention to local weather forecasts. Thunderstorms will become wet but the atmospheric instability plus the sheer number of new starts from lightning will challenge initial attack over the weekend. A number of new large fires are likely to result."

FIRES ON ODF-PROTECTED LANDS
No new fires 10 acres or larger were reported on ODF-protected lands this week.

FIRES ON OTHER LANDS
The Buckskin Fire 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:
http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4286/

The Little Basin Fire reported June 15 burning 10 Miles North of Imnaha in the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area is 630 acres and 97 percent contained. More info available at:
http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4290/

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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

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, even in non-drought years Oregon's warm, dry summers create conditions that allow for fire to start and spread. In an average summer firefighters still see almost a thousand fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.



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. There are about 30.4 million total 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.