Current situation

ODF has been responding to dozens of lightning-sparked wildfires in southern Oregon. Incident Management Team 2 has been dispatched to assist the Southwest Oregon District with the Garner Complex of fires near Grants Pass. Very hot, dry weather today remains a risk for new fire starts and a challenge for suppressing existing fires. Many ODF districts and forest protective associations have raised their fire danger level and tightened restrictions on activities linked to fire starts. Check ODF's fire restrictions and closures web page for the latest details at http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx




Sunday, July 5, 2015

Niagara Fire update - July 5 morning

Firefighters continue to battle the 70-acre Niagara Fire in the Santiam Unit of Oregon Department of Forestry’s North Cascade District. Reported July 4 about noon, the fire is burning near Highway 22 in the vicinity of the Big Cliff Dam. ODF is being assisted by the U.S. Forest Service as well as local rural fire departments.

Approx. 100 personnel are fighting the fire today. ODF has increased the air attack and will have five helicopters dropping water today, along with large and small air tankers delivering fire retardant. Several private contract hand crews are on scene, for a total of 100 personnel fighting the fire.

The Niagara Fire is uncontained at present. The fire is burning on steep terrain in heavy timber. Hot, dry conditions persist in the area, which will challenge firefighters as they work to contain the blaze. Cause is under investigation.

Highway 22 remains open. Traffic is expected to be heavy today, with travelers returning from the Fourth of July holiday weekend, and firefighting equipment also moving along the major travel route.

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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.