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. This late in the fall, a key source of ignitions is fire escaping when piles of woody debris are burned. Care is required with that activity at any time of year.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

NE Oregon fire update - Aug. 13, 2015

New initial attack in the district was moderate. Oregon Dept. of Forestry (ODF) responded to five new fire starts Wednesday. Two of the new starts were in the La Grande Unit and three were in the Wallowa Unit. 

The Cornet Fire is burning on ODF-protected private lands, and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Wallowa-Whitman National Forest public lands in Baker County. The fire is burning on 12,600 acres.  Baker County Sheriff has issued Level 3 Evacuation Orders (GO) for Stices Gulch. Level 2 Evacuation Orders (Set) have been issued for Black Mountain, Rancheria Creek and Denny Creek. A Conflagration Act was signed by Gov. Kate Brown to provide structure protection assistance. Three Strike Teams of engines are enroute to Baker County, as well as a State Fire Marshal’s incident management team (Green). 

The Windy Ridge Fire is also burning along the Burnt River. This fire is currently being managed by BLM, with assistance from ODF resources.  The latest size on the fire is 10,250 acres. It is burning approximately six miles  east of the Cornet fire. The fire is burning on ODF-protected acres. ODF has provided resources for a portion of the fire that is burning on ODF-protected lands. 

The Cornet and Windy Ridge fires will transition to a Type 1 Incident Management Team and be managed as a complex. The Type 1 Team will be in briefed at 2 p.m. today, and transition is being negotiated.

The Eagle Complex is burning on Wallowa-Whitman National Forest land in Main Eagle Creek, 16 miles northeast of Baker City, Oregon. There are three fires is burning in close proximity to ODF-protected private lands. 

The Rye Ridge Fire is burning on lands protected by Washington Department of Natural Resources-protected lands.  The fire is approximately one mile from the Oregon border in the area of Joseph Canyon. It is approximately 500-700 acres. There is a Washington DNR Type 3 Team ordered to manage this incident. 

The Merry-Go-Round Fire is burning on Wallowa-Whitman National Forest lands near Catherine Creek in Union County. The fire experienced some spotting yesterday, but the spot fires were contained and lined. It is currently 10 acres in size and burning approximately ½ mile from ODF-protected private lands. 

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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 snowpack at higher elevations which will take some time to melt. However, in the summer of 2017 a series of heatwaves and a prolonged stretch of dry weather created conditions that dried forest fuels, allowing fires to start and spread. The result was more than a thousand fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.Ninety-five percent of these 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.


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.