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.







Sunday, August 16, 2015

Eddorado Fire Morning Update - Sunday, August 16, 2015 @ 10 a.m. PDT


OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY
INCIDENT MANAGEMENT TEAM 3
LINK SMITH, INCIDENT COMMANDER


ELDORADO FIRE UPDATE
August 16, 2015 10:00 a.m.


Unity, OR – Firefighters on the Eldorado Fire hope to take advantage of moderate weather conditions forecasted over the next few days. The fire is currently 18,600 acres with zero percent containment.
The fire started Friday morning and, pushed by high winds through the Eldorado Pass, grew to more than 10,000 acres in less than 24 hours. Lighter winds and cooler temperatures have allowed crews to gain a foothold in several areas.

The fire lies on both the north and south side of Highway 26 between Unity and Ironside, two small communities south of Baker City in eastern Oregon. While fire activity is greatest south of 26 near Ironside Mountain, firefighters are securing containment lines and mopping up on the north side of the highway.  Today’s plan is to continue to work the fire to the south into areas with lighter fuels, like grass and sage brush, where containment objectives can be better achieved.

Resources on the fire include 12 engines, 7 dozers and one helicopter. Several hand crews are expected to arrive from other fires in the next couple of days.

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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.