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.







Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Corner Creek Fire Update, Tuesday, July 7, 2015 @ 12:30 p.m.


July 7, 2015
12:30 p.m.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CENTRAL OREGON NEWS MEDIA

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

Fire Information: (541) 987-2348


The Corner Creek Fire grew slightly to 27,166 acres on Monday due to fire line relocation and burnout operations along the fire's western flank. Despite some gusty winds to 30 mph late Monday afternoon, the Corner Creek Fire stayed within containment lines.

The fire is 15 percent contained and 1,100 people are assigned to the suppression effort. The majority of the work today is focused on securing the fire's perimeter and mopping up hot spots inside the fire line.

The fire is burning on public lands managed by the Ochoco National Forest and the Bureau of Land Management - Prineville District, with some private lands within or near to the burned area. The fire started June 29 from a lightning strike in the Black Canyon Wilderness.

Tomorrow at 6:00 a.m., a new incident management team will take control of the Corner Creek Fire. The fire has been managed since July 2 by the Oregon Department of Forestry's Incident Management Team 1, led by Incident Commander John Buckman. The incoming team is the Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team 2, headed by Incident Commander Brett Fillis.

ODF's incident management team originally had suppression responsibility for the Sugarloaf Fire, located 8 miles north of Dayville, before the team was also assigned suppression responsibility for the Corner Creek Fire. Now that the Sugarloaf Fire is 98 percent contained, and the southern three-fourths of the Corner Creek Fire, which is near some private lands, has been significantly stabilized, ODF's incident management team is being released to be available for new fire suppression assignments.

Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team 2 will continue to work with administrators from the Ochoco National Forest, the Bureau of Land Management - Prineville District, and the Oregon Department of Forestry on a full-suppression strategy for the Corner Creek Fire, which includes fire suppression operations in the Black Canyon Wilderness.

A few of the helicopters assigned to the Corner Creek Fire were used yesterday to help cool down the West Fork Fire, located 10 miles southeast of Dayville, on the Malheur National Forest.

Information about the Corner Creek Fire is posted online at www.centralorfireinfo.blogspot.com.

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Brian Ballou
Fire Prevention Specialist
ODF Southwest Oregon District
Office: (541) 665-0662
Cell: (541) 621-4156
brian.ballou@oregon.gov

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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

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.



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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.