Current situation

Winter and spring see lots of controlled burns in Oregon to eliminate piles of woody debris left over after logging or thinning. Embers buried in the ashes of these pile burns can sometimes reignite even days after a fire appears to be out, especially if winds blow away ashy debris. The same winds can then fan smoldering embers back to life. That's why it's a good idea to keep checking old pile burns to ensure no hot spots have rekindled.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Oregon Dept of Forestry Fire Update for Thursday, August 13, 2015

The lightning-caused Berry Creek Fire was reported this morning burning in grass, slash, and timber in NE Oregon approximately 5 miles south of Canyon City.  5 residences and 7 outbuildings are threatened.

Growth potential is high and extended attack is in progress with 2 crews, 1 engine, 2 air tankers and 2 helicopters at or enroute to the fire. A Local Type 3 Team has been assigned to this fire.

The Chambers Mill fire was reported in Lane County yesterday afternoon burning in timber, brush and slash on private and Bureau of Land Management lands about 2 miles south of Lorane. 3 residences were threatened.

South Lane Fire & Rescue responded along with ODF fire personnel. The fire size is currently estimated at 180 acres.

Resources assigned include 1 14-person crew, 3 fallers, 1 bulldozer, 1 water tender, 4 helicopters and 2 air tankers. Fire staff employed bulldozers to put a line around the fire last night; the fire is currently 80 percent lined and fire spread has been slowed.

> The Eagle Complex reported Tuesday afternoon burning approximately 16 miles northeast of Baker City and 10 miles east of Medical Springs, Oregon, is currently estimated at 700 acres. Three fires comprise the complex and are burning on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest as well as private lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry. 

Resources: 4 engines and two 10-person hand crews as well as several aviation resources, with additional resources on order. 

A level 1 notice has been sent to residents along Forest Service Road 77 near Tamarack Campground, the Bennett Peak and Main Eagle areas associated with the Eagle Complex. A Level I notice means residents should be READY to evacuate and continue to closely monitor local media and incident information. Questions regarding evacuation notices and the evacuation process can be direction to the Baker County Emergency Management at 541-523-8200.

An Interagency Type 3 Management team is assuming command of the fire today.
Eagle Complex Fire Information:

> The lightning-caused Cornet Fire (EOA) near Hereford, Oregon burning approximately 7 miles east of Hereford, Oregon on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest and Vale BLM District as well as on private lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry has grown to approximately 12,600 acres. It is threatening approximately 170 structures, with more than 100 personnel on scene. Additional resources are on order. 

Governor Kate Brown has invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act in response to the Cornet Fire. This declaration authorizes the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal to mobilize structural firefighters and equipment to assist local resources battling the fire.

An Interagency Type 2 Incident Management Team with Incident Commander Brian Goff assumed command of the fire last night, however, a Type 1 Incident Command Team has been ordered for this fire and the Windy Ridge Fire, now estimated at 6,000 acres.


Level 3 Evacuation Order (GO / Leave Immediately) has been issued by Baker County Sheriff’s Office for:

Stices Gulch Rd. Area. (Cornet Fire)
Ebell Creek area (Windy Ridge Fire)
Alder Creek area (Windy Ridge Fire)

Level 2 Evacuation Order (SET) has been issued by Baker County Sheriff’s Office for:

Black Mountain area (Cornet Fire)
Denny Creek area (Cornet Fire)
Rancheria Creek area (Cornet Fire)

Level 1 Evacuation Order (READY) has been issued by Baker County Sheriff’s Office for:

Sutton Creek area (Windy Ridge Fire)
Beaver Creek area (Windy Ridge Fie)
Eagle Complex (Windy Ridge Fire)

Cornet Fire and Windy Ridge Fire Information:  541-523-1267
Evacuation Information: 541-523-2905

> The Stouts Creek Fire (Douglas Forest Protective Association (DFPA) burning 11 miles east of Canyonville near Milo on forestlands protected by DFPA, is currently estimated at approximately 23,841 acres and 63 percent containment.

Hot temperatures and winds out of the west late Wednesday afternoon pushed the 23,841 acre Stouts Creek Fire, testing firelines. There were a few spots over the line along the southeast corner but all were contained and the remainder of the perimeter held. One of the last small areas to be burned out in the Upper Cow Creek area was successfully completed last night. Mop-up is underway in that area while much of the north end of the fire has almost completed mop-up. Mop-up means fire fighters walk the fireline, sometimes using handheld infrared devices, and ensure that no heat or smoke is visible for several hundred feet inside. Mop-up also continues along some sections of the southeast, south and southwest flanks. Operations staff report there are still areas with large, burning trees inside the line that, with a bit of wind, higher temperatures and dry receptive fuels could carry fire outside containment lines.

“This has been a tough, ugly fire,” Incident Commander John Buckman said during Wednesday’s night shift briefing. “It’s only because you’ve persistently and safely fought this fire for 14 straight nights that we’ve made significant progress. Thank you for your dedication to the surrounding communities. Keep persevering.”

“I think the message that we got with yesterday’s unexpected critical fire weather,” says Deputy Incident Commander Russ Lane, “is that, despite the success we’ve had, this is still a big fire with a lot of life and potential in it. We will continue to be vigilant, holding and widening the lines we have while we work to wrap up the south end.”

The weather is expected to continue to be hot and dry again today which will increase fire behavior. There is still a large burnout needed on the south end of the fire, north of Upper Cow Creek Road and Beaver Creek. Prep work along roads in the area continues as firefighters wait for the right conditions to complete that operation.

Safety: The Stouts Creek Fire has had an unusually good safety record for a fire that has had more than 1900 people. The medical unit’s primary complaints have been a significant number of firefighters dealing with poison oak and bee stings. Wednesday afternoon, a firefighter was taken off the line with a knee injury and taken to a local hospital.

Resources: There currently are 1,560 personnel assigned to the fire with 56 crews, 46 engines, 30 water tenders, 21 bulldozers and 10 helicopters. Numbers of personnel and equipment will continue to shrink as objectives are met and these resources move on to fires with greater needs.

Cost: The Stouts Creek Fire costs to date are $22.4 million. The Incident Management Team leading the effort under unified command is protecting lands that are about 52 percent on state protected lands, which include BLM and private lands, and 48 percent on the Umpqua National Forest. Twenty-three states and three Canadian provinces have provided staff for this effort. All evacuation levels are at Level I.

Smoke: With continued smoke in the area, those with health concerns should talk to their doctor or go to There they will find information on wildfires and health as well as access to Air Quality Index monitors. Motorists are urged to be careful driving through smoke on the roads, and turn on their low beam headlights. Residents and travelers also are asked to not stop along Tiller-Trail Highway to view fire or helicopter activity as traffic is heavy with response vehicles.
The cause of the fire was human-caused and appears to be related to an individual mowing grass.
Stouts Fire Information:
Phone 541-825-3724

> The Cable Crossing Fire, (Douglas Forest Protective Association (DFPA) burning on DFPA-protected private and public forestlands six miles east of Glide, is currently estimated at 85 percent containment. Crews continue to make good progress with firefighters now focusing efforts on mopping up hot spots, extinguishing all visible smokes and smoldering material within 300 – 500 feet of the fire trail.  

Crews are also beginning to move excess fire hose and miscellaneous supplies which are no longer needed on the fire line.  These supplies are cleaned, checked, and made available for other fires as needed.

The Cable Crossing Fire currently has 214 personnel assigned to the fire.  This number is expected to drop over the next couple days as the fire nears containment.  Depending on the amount of time firefighters spent on the Cable Crossing Fire, they will either be released home for rest or reassigned to another fire in the region.

Safety for both the firefighters and the public remains the number one priority on the Cable Crossing Fire.  The public is reminded that the temporary closure around the Cable Crossing Fire which was issued by the BLM remains in place as fire crews continue to work in the area.

The cause of this fire remains under investigation.
Cable Creek Fire information:
PH: 541-817-7186

> The Phillips Creek Fire (Northeast Oregon District – LaGrande Unit) located 3-4 miles northwest of Elgin in northeast Oregon in brush, grass, slash, and heavy timber predominantly on the Umatilla National Forest, has burned 2,601 acres including approximately 435 acres of ODF-protected private forestlands.  

The fire has 206 personnel assigned and is now estimated at 85% contained.
A Type 3 Team has taken over the fire (IC Joel McCraw, USFS). The incident command post will remain at the Elgin Stampede Grounds in Elgin. Fire officials and firefighters wish to thank the communities of the Grande Ronde Valley for their tremendous support and cooperation.

Phillips Creek Fire Information:
PH: 541-437-1159


Oregonians are reminded to continue to treat fire season with respect.  Everyone is encouraged to follow current fire season restrictions to prevent human caused fires.  

In addition, residents who live in the wildland urban interface, where communities border forests and grazing lands, should always be prepared before fire threatens.  Have a plan that includes making arrangements for persons with special needs, livestock, and pets.  Learn more about the Ready Set Go Program at


Smoke may persist where wildfires are burning in in Oregon, including times when burn-out firefighting operations are taking place. Stay up-to-date on smoke density and public health advisories, or view and monitor Oregon’s air quality index.  Wildfires and severe smoke can create dangerous conditions for people, especially those with chronic health conditions. Learn what you can do to reduce the risk of health effects of wildfire smoke.

Fire statistics are for the current year and the average over the past 10 years for the 16 million acres of private and public forestland protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.

January 1, 2015, through today:*
Lightning-caused fires:  239 fires burned 2510 acres
Human-caused fires: 529 fires burned 27,041 acres
Total: 768 fires burned 29,551 acres

10-year average (January 1 through the present date in the year):
Lightning-caused fires: 208 fires burned 19,958 acres

Human-caused fires: 404 fires burned 3161 acres
Total: 448 fires burned 23,119 acres

Fire statistics can be accessed any time from the ODF website.*

*When personnel are heavily engaged in firefighting activities, the latest information may not always appear in the statistics.


News media may call the Fire Information Duty Officer, who is currently Cynthia Orlando, 503-945-7421 (office) or 503-510-7972 (Cell), any time for fire information. If the duty officer is unable to take your call, you can expect a prompt return call. Media may also call the Oregon Department of Forestry headquarters office, 503-945-7200, weekdays during business hours.

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Comments and questions

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 mountain snowpack. It didn't take long for that to melt and vegetation to dry out due to a series of heatwaves and a prolonged stretch of dry weather over the summer. As forest fuels dried, fires started and spread, many from lands adjacent to those protected by ODF, such as the Chetco Bar Fire in Curry County. That one fire accounted for 46% of the 47,537 acres of land protected by ODF which burned in 2017. Of fires originating on ODF-protected land, 95% 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.