2015 another severe fire season

By mid-October 2016, ODF's net expenditures on large wildfires stood at $13.2 million. The lack of dry lightning played a significant role in the moderate firefighting costs this season. In 2015, large-fire costs totaled $29.6 million.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Oregon Dept. of Forestry fire update - 08-19-15

This is a summary update; actual fire updates and other fire-related information is posted to the ODF Wildfire Blog.  You can also find ODF on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates and stories from the front lines.

CONTACT:
Fire Information Duty Officers:  Jeri Chase, 503-945-7201 (office) or 503-931-2721 (Cell), and Rod Nichols, 503-945-7425 (office) or 503-508-0574 (Cell)
 
“Your help is critical in preventing the next wildfire.”  Oregon’s State Forester Doug Decker calls on Oregonians to keep the next fire from starting.  See the video at https://youtu.be/evoV67OztLU.  Read the State Forester’s statement.

As Oregonians and others throughout the Pacific Northwest continue to experience some of the most severe fire conditions in memory, ODF and its partners are managing the fires affecting ODF-protected lands.  Two of the agency’s three Incident Management Teams are deployed – one to the 25,324-acre Stouts Creek Fire in Douglas County, a human-caused fire that started on July 31, and one that was deployed last Friday to the 20,600-acre Eldorado Fire in Baker and Malheur counties; while one remains available for extended attack on ODF-protected lands, as needed.  Across Oregon, 12 incident management teams are deployed to nine large fires, including structural firefighters from across the state, and teams from throughout and outside of the Pacific Northwest.

Fire agencies were alerted to the possibility of dry lightning and wind at the end of last week, and planned and prepared for it.  The result, though, due to a combination of factors that are not surprising to anyone – a drought that stretches across most of the state, low fuel moistures, dry weather – is the 315,000-plus acres burning today across Oregon.  “Friday was a very unusual day for ODF,” remarked ODF Incident Commander John Buckman.  “Over 50,000 acres of ODF-protected lands burned in one day, a figure not seen in recent history.” 

ODF and partner organizations and agencies continue to take the measures necessary to protect Oregon’s forests – from no longer allowing campfires even in designated locations as well as prohibiting all off-highway vehicles not on maintained roads in both the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests, to today’s ban implemented by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department on all campfires in Oregon’s state parks – including beaches, and the Governor’s announcement this afternoon of activating the Oregon National Guard for training of 125 National Guard ground forces to assist with large fires in Oregon. 

ODF and its partner private protection associations are also being aggressive with initial attack – a strategy that has resulted over the past several years in suppressing 97 percent of all fire starts to 10 acres or less.  From a 1/10th-acre fire in Douglas County on Tuesday due to a downed power line where the Douglas Forest Protective Association and other local fire agencies responded, to a recent fire start in Lake County where ODF provided mutual aid to the local rural fire district and stopped a fire, that threatened ODF-protected lands, from burning structures, as well as advancing further.  Day-in and day-out – even during and despite this extreme fire situation – at ODF offices throughout Oregon, personnel and resources continue to respond and do the work that is needed to protect Oregon’s forests.

Protecting Oregon’s forestlands remains ODF’s primary mission – and one in which every employee is somehow engaged.  Decker asks all Oregonians to engage, as well.  “We should recognize that this is not business as usual.  Our current situation necessitates a different type of approach, and involves setting difficult priorities.  Fire escalation on the east side is unlike anything we’ve seen before, and the magnitude is significant.  At the moment we have limited extended attack resources,” added Decker.  “Oregonians need to be even more vigilant about preventing wildfires because the state can’t afford any more human-caused fires.”

 FIRE FACTS

ODF Central Oregon District – John Day Unit

Canyon Creek Complex | 8/12/15 | one mile south of John Day and Canyon City | 48,201 acres | 0% contained | 649 personnel | Lightning | Great Basin IMT 1 (IC Lund/Oregon State Fire Marshal Red Team (IC Walker) |


ODF Northeast Oregon District – Baker Sub-Unit

Eldorado Fire | 8/14/15 | 5 miles southeast of Unity | 20,601 acres |35% contained |348 personnel | Under investigation |ODF IMT 3 (IC Smith) |

More information: Baker County, Oregon Joint Information Center (JIC):  541-523-2905 | http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4502/ | www.facebook.com/ElDoradoFire2015 | eldoradofire2015@gmail.com |#EldoradoFire |

Cornet-Windy Ridge Complex | 8/10/15 | 10 miles east of Unity | 103,540 acres | 45% contained | 675 personnel | Lightning | Southwest IMT (IC Ruggiero)

More Information:  Baker County, Oregon Joint Information Center: 541-523-2905 | http://inciweb/nwcg.gov/incident/4478/ | www.facebook.com/CornetFire | bakerjointinfo@gmail.com

Eagle Complex | 8/10/15 | 16 miles northeast of Baker City | 3,055 acres |0% contained | 204 personnel | Lightning | Rocky Mountain Black IMT (IC Greer). 


Douglas Forest Protective Association (DFPA)

Stouts Creek Fire |7/30/15 | 11 miles east of Canyonville near Milo | 25,324 acres | 74% contained | 1,010 personnel | Human | ODF IMT 2 (IC Cline) / U.S. Forest Service (IC Mike Wilde) | 

More information:  Phone:  541-825-3724 | http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4426/ | www.facebook.com/StoutsFire www://twitter.com/StoutsFire  | #StoutsFire

Cable Crossing Fire | 7/28/15 | 6 miles east of Glide | 1,857 acres | 90% contained | 50 personnel | Under investigation | DFPA


OTHER FIRE INFORMATION
For information on wildfires on all jurisdictions in Oregon, view:

·         the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center website, or

·         the national Incident Information System site.

 
Online and social media resources:

·         department’s web site

·         department’s blog for news on wildfires statewide and provides current fire statistics.

·         Southwest Oregon District blog with district specific wildfire info, and follow the Twitter feed covering fires as they occur.

·         Douglas Forest Protective Association website, Facebook Page and Twitter feed.

·         Blue Mountain Interagency Wildfire blog for news on wildfires in the Blue Mountains (northeast Oregon)

·         ODF Forest Grove District’s Fire blog with district-specific wildfire information

·         ODF Central Oregon District’s Twitter feed

·         Keep Oregon Green website, Facebook page and Twitter feed

 OTHER INFORMATION

·         ODOT Tripcheck

·         Evacuation – Ready, Set, Go! 

·         Wildfire Smoke

FIRE STATISTICS
Fire statistics can be accessed from the
ODF Wildfire Blog and the ODF website.  When personnel are heavily engaged in firefighting activities, the latest information may not always appear in the statistics.

ABOUT THIS UPDATE
This update provides information primarily about fires on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected lands involving fires 10 acres or larger. ODF provides fire protection primarily on private and state-owned forestland, and Bureau of Land Management forestlands west of the Cascades, and also works closely with partner firefighting agencies.

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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

The weather conditions setting up for this summer are ominous: continuing drought, meager winter snowpack, and above-average temperatures forecast through August.

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. Suppression of large fires can run into millions of dollars.

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Oregon Dept. of Forestry's public information officers maintain this blog. During the wildfire season, we spend much of our time reporting on fires and firefighting to news media and the public.