Current situation

Gov. Kate Brown focused Oregon's attention on the active wildfire situation in Oregon at a morning news conference in Portland today. ODF's Chief of Fire Protection Doug Grafe and other state agencies shared how they are responding to the wildfire emergency the Gov. declared Wednesday.

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

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Eldorado Fire update - 08-20-15

Oregon Department of Forestry
Incident Management Team 3
Link Smith, Incident Commander

Baker County Joint Information Center: (541) 523-2905

August 20, 2015

NOTE: Updates will now occur once daily before 10 a.m. unless significant changes or events take place during an operation period.

Unity, Ore. –  At approximately 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, a helicopter working on the Eldorado Fire eight miles southeast of Unity experienced a hard landing. The incident occurred on the western portion of the fire near King Creek in the vicinity of a medical unit serving firefighters on the line. Both occupants exited the helicopter unhurt and were transported by ambulance to St. Alphonsus Ontario Medical Center for further evaluation.

Current Fire Information
Firefighters continue to prepare for the pending weather change that is expected to bring increased winds to the area over the next two days. The incident meteorologist assigned to the fire says winds will elevate this afternoon out of the west along the ridge tops. The strongest winds are expected to arrive Friday morning and could be as strong as 40 miles per hour out of the north/northwest. Crews continue to work with aircraft to strengthen southern containment lines along the east side of Ironside Mountain and mop up hot spots to prevent hot embers from crossing.  The fire is now 20,611 acres and 40 percent contained.

On a separate note, Highway 245 from Unity to Baker City is now open. Motorists should travel with caution due to fire traffic still in the area.

There are now 435 personnel assigned to the Eldorado Fire. Resources on the fireline include 14 crews, 15 dozers, 26 engines, 7 water-tenders and 4 helicopters.


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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

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.


About Me

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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.