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.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Sugarloaf Fire update - July 1, 2015 morning

Oregon Department of Forestry
Incident Mgmt. Team 1                                                                                                        
John Buckman, Incident Commander                                                                                            

Contact: Brian Ballou, Information Officer, (541) 621-4156                                                           


Size: 4,802 acres
Containment: 40 percent

Firefighting resources:
13 hand crews
18 fire engines
2 bulldozers
3 water tenders
350 total personnel

Today's plans on the 4,802-acre Sugarloaf Fire include completing more of the fire containment lines on the north and southeast edges of the fire and continuing the mop-up. Hoses have been set up in the hotter northeastern part of the fire to help extinguish the heavier fuels. Other fire resources will be patrolling to monitor burned areas for signs of hot spots.  Some residual fuels within the fire area will continue to burn, reducing the chances for the fire to flare up later.

On the 317-acre Blue Basin Fire today, a separate fire being managed by this team, and on nearby portions of the Sugarloaf Fire, firefighters continue to patrol and monitor the fire.  Little heat remains in this area.  Part of this area is in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.
Yesterday this fire team also assumed responsibility for the Schoolhouse Gulch Fire. It is about 2 miles east of Dayville, roughly 100 acres in size, and has been mopped up.

Later today, this fire team will assume suppression responsibility for the Corner Creek Fire. It is burning on the west side of the South Fork John Day River, about 11 miles south of Dayville. This fire covers about 6,000 acres, on the Ochoco National Forest, Bureau of Land Management Prineville District, and private lands. Fire suppression crews from the Sugarloaf Fire were assigned to the Corner Creek Fire today.
The forecast for the rest of the week is for continuing hot weather with low humidity. Winds are a concern, especially in the evenings when “sundowner” winds have been gusting to 20 mph.
Information about the Sugarloaf Fire is posted online at


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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.