Current situation

Fire season on ODF-protected land has officially ended in all of Oregon as cooler temperatures and moister conditions settle over much of the state. With the end of wildfire season in Oregon, firefighting resources are now more available. As a result, several public and private engines and crews have been dispatched to California to assist with the devastating wildfires there.































Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Tuesday a successful day for Central Oregon District firefighters

June 30 was a very successful day for firefighters working in ODF's Central Oregon District(COD). All fires in the John Day Unit were held within containment lines. 

The Jones Canyon Fire was mapped at 840 acres yesterday. Several SPA [special purpose appropriation] aircraft were used to aid firefighters on the ground and hold the fire within fire lines.  This fire is burning in steep rocky terrain with difficult access.  Firefighters will be focusing on mop-up on this fire over the next several days. There is significant work to be done to cool hot spots and strengthen the fire line. 

Firefighters at the Harper Complex will continue to focus on mop-up within the containment lines of the fires. There has been no growth on these fires since Monday.

On Monday The Dalles Unit held the Happy Ridge Fire to just under 15 acres. This fire had significant potential, burning in pine and oak with high temperatures. The fire boss from Salem and SEATs [single engine air tankers] were used to cool fuels and allow crews and dozers to construct line.   

Fire crews throughout the district have provided mutual aid to other agencies in addition to suppressing numerous ODF fires ignited by the weekend thunderstorms. Extreme fire conditions remain throughout the district with high temperatures, low humidity, and increasing winds.  Yesterday’s success will allow fire managers to regroup and prepare for thunderstorms forecast for later this weekend and early next week as well as the potential fire activity over the holiday weekend. The potential for holdover fires remains a threat throughout the district.

Over the next few days resources will be released from the fires and will be returning to their home units. Sending units will be contacted to plan for their return. These resources have done an outstanding job, and are much appreciated for their hard work.

ODF Team 1 (John Buckman, incident commander) has been making significant progress on the Sugarloaf Fire burning on BLM Offset private lands as well as BLM and inside the John Day Fossil Beds. This fire is approximately 4,800 acres. Yesterday team assumed command of the Blue Basin Fire inside the Fossil Beds, which burned just over 300 acres. This fire is under investigation and is currently in mop-up status. Later this afternoon the team will assume control of the Corner Creek Fire, estimated to have grown to over 6,000 acres since it was discovered on June 29. Corner Creek is also burning on BLM Offset private lands, BLM and Forest Service lands. It is located about 11 miles south of Dayville on the edge of the Black Canyon Wilderness. The fire is burning away from the wilderness on the west side of the S. Fork of the John Day River. The fire is burning across the river from the site of the South Fork Complex which burned in 2014. Yesterday the fire grew from 2,500 to the estimated 6,000 acres. A VLAT [very large air tanker], 3 tankers, 4 SEATs [single engine air tankers] and 3 helicopters were used to protect structures along Wind Creek. 

As we have all heard and seen, fire conditions are extreme with no relief in sight. Resources from other districts and areas, along with the SPA aircraft, contributed to the effort and success in controlling these fires under extreme conditions. While it is only July 1, we are truly in the heart of fire season. 

Thanks to all the firefighters who have come to COD and helped put the fires out, as well as to everyone who has picked up extra duties back in their home units.  

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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. 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.