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

Tuesday Fires squelched by Douglas Forest Protective Association

The Douglas Forest Protective Association and local fire departments responded to two natural cover fires Tuesday afternoon.  

The first fire was reported at 1:50 p.m. near Highway 138 West, Mile Post 16.  A brushing crew in the area from the Douglas County Public Works Department and employees from ODOT worked on suppressing the fire before DFPA and Kellogg Volunteer Fire Department arrived on scene.  Firefighters were able to stop the fire spread at 1/2 acre.  Firefighters remained on scene until 6:00 p.m. securing fire trails and mopping up hot spots.  

Fire officials determined that the fire was caused by a holdover debris pile which was burned earlier this spring.  Fire official ask that anyone who has burned debris piles this past winter or spring, check the burned area for any remaining heat or smoke, as debris piles have the ability to smolder for long periods of time before popping back to life on hot, windy days.
 
As firefighters were responding to the fire on Highway 138 West, a second fire was reported at 1:55 p.m. at Cooper Creek Reservoir near Sutherlin.  Firefighters from DFPA, Douglas County Fire District #2, and Fair Oaks Rural Fire Department responded to the fire and stopped the spread at 1/10th of an acre.  

Fire officials determined that the Cooper Creek fire was started by juveniles playing with a lighter.
 
With hot, dry weather forecasted for the next week, fire officials ask that everyone know and follow the public use restrictions currently in effect.  Fire official says that the dry fuels in wildland areas are currently at conditions normally seen towards the end of July or early August.
 
For a complete list of public or industrial restrictions currently in effect, visit www.dfpa.net or call 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.