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.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Corner Creek Fire-Sugarloaf Fire update July 4 morning

Oregon Department of Forestry
Incident Management Team 1
John Buckman, Incident Commander

Firefighters continue the hard work to contain the Corner Creek Fire, burning 11 miles south of Dayville. The fire is estimated at 22,000 acres in size and five percent contained. The fire continues to burn actively on the west side of the South Fork John Day River, and conditions remain extremely challenging. Hot and dry weather conditions, with wind gusts up to 20 mph, are causing the fire to run, spot, and torch into timber and rangeland.

"We're in a tough fight," says Operations Chief, John Flannigan. "We have knocked the fire down a couple of times, but it continues to get back up. We hope to deliver the final blow soon."

Firefighters are working to stop fire progression to the south, hold and continue mop up on the east, and begin burn out and hold the west. Private land allotments to the south and west of the fire are threatened. The team is preparing for future expected growth and is working hard to protect structures near the fire.

Ochoco National Forest roads are closed on the north, from the forest boundary at the North Fork of Birch Creek, south along the 5820 Road to the Ochoco Forest boundary at the Rager Airstrip. All roads, trails, and forest lands east of the Ochoco Forest boundary are also closed. Travel on the South Fork John Day Road (County Rd 42) is limited to residents and fire personnel only.

The Sugarloaf Fire is now 90 percent contained with a total size of 4,470 acres. Mop up and hazardous tree felling continue on the northeast edge of the fire. The majority of the Sugarloaf Fire and all of the Blue Basin Fire are being patrolled, with emphasis on the areas around the structures. A total of 941 resources are assigned to the Sugarloaf and Corner Creek Fires.

A Red Flag Warning is in effect until 8:00 p.m. today due to temperatures near 100 degrees and very low humidity. The hot weather conditions are expected to continue through the weekend. Please use caution with fireworks and campfires over the 4th of July weekend. Be sure to check regulated closures at to avoid additional wildfire threats.

Information about the Sugarloaf/Corner Creek Fire and road closures is posted online at

Contact Info:
Fire Information: (541) 987-2348 or


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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 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.


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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.