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.







Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Douglas tightens fire restrictions July 2

The fire danger is high, and conditions on the ground, combined with hot, dry weather have prompted the Douglas Forest Protective Association to tighten fire restrictions on forest operations. Beginning 1 a.m. Thursday, July 2, DFPA will impose Industrial Fire Precaution Level III (3) on all private, county, state, and Bureau of Land Management lands within DFPA’s 1.6 million acre districtThe increase means that industrial operators are prohibited in performing the following:

·         Cable yarding – except that gravity operated logging systems with non-motorized carriages may operate before 1 p.m. or after 8 p.m. when all blocks and moving lines are suspended 10 feet above ground except the line between the carriage and the chokers;

·         Power saws – except at loading sites and at tractor skidder operations before 1 p.m. or after 8 p.m.

In addition, the following activities are permitted before 1:00 p.m. and after 8:00 p.m.

·         Tractor, skidder, feller-buncher, forwarder, or shovel logging operations where tractors, skidders, or other equipment with a blade capable of constructing fireline are immediately available to quickly reach and effectively attack a fire start;

·         Mechanized loading or hauling of any product or material;

·         Blasting;

·         Welding or cutting of metal;

·         Any other spark emitting operation not specifically mentioned.

For the general public, fire restrictions are increasing as well.  Under DFPA’s Regulated Use Closure, when IFPL III goes into effect, all non-industrial chain saw use is prohibited.  In addition, several changes have been made to the Regulated Use Closure which also take effect July 2.

  • The cutting, grinding and welding of metal for non-industrial purposes is prohibited, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.  Cutting, grinding and welding of metal is permitted at all other hours, if conducted in a cleared area and if a water supply is present. 

·         The mowing of dead, dry grass with power driven equipment is prohibited between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.

For more information about the current industrial and public use closures that are in effect, visit www.dfpa.net or call the information line 541-672-0379.

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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.



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.