Current situation

Sunny and dry conditions again prevail across Oregon this week. Mild temperatures will give way to warmer conditions, melting snow and drying fuels faster. This will raise fire risk across the state. There have already been twice as many wildfires on ODF-protected land compared to the same time last year, with more than twice as many acres burned.

May is Wildfire Awareness Month, a time when homeowners are urged to take steps to reduce the risk of wildfire around their house and other structures. Among these are clearing debris from roofs and gutters, cutting back brush from around structures, and removing lower branches from trees.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Oregon Dept. of Forestry Fire Update - Friday, Aug. 14, 2015

Fires currently burning on ODF-protected lands:

The Chambers Mill fire approximately two miles south of Lorane is now 100 percent lined with a combination of dozer and hand lines. Three residences were threatened. Initial attack was strongly supported by air attack.

Resources: 4 Hand Crews, 2 helicopters, 4 fire engines, 4 bulldozers, 6 water tenders. 

Crews are busy mopping up today and Territorial Highway is now open both ways. Cooperators on the incident include Weyerhaeuser Co. and the Bureau of Land Management. The fire size was 180 acres.
Canyon Creek Complex

The Berry Creek Fire burning seven miles south of John Day saw strong winds and increased fire activity yesterday. It was reported August 12 following a series of early morning thunderstorms in the area. Currently the fire is estimated at 50 acres, burning primarily in the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness, with a small number of ODF protected acres burned.  

A local Type 3 organization was mobilized August 13 to increase suppression efforts. Active fire activity in the region has limited available resources to respond to the fire. The fire is burning in heavy fuels and slash with wind and terrain driven fire behavior. Today the winds are expected to increase in the fire area. ODF’s John Day Unit is actively engaged in the suppression efforts for the fire.  

Mason Springs Fire is estimated at 600 acres burning on USFS lands seven miles north of Seneca.  The fire is approximately one mile from private lands protected by ODF.  A Level 2 evacuation has been issued for the private lands near the fire.  OR Hwy 395 near Seneca is closed because of fire activity along the highway.  Due to the complexity of these two fires the Rocky Mountain Blue (Type 2) Team will take command of the Berry Creek and the Mason Springs Fires on Monday. The two fires are now the Canyon Creek Complex.

Canyon Creek Complex Fire information
(541) 263-0661

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 1,500 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. Difficult terrain combined with hot weather and wind contributed to fire growth. Firefighter and public safety remains the highest priorities. Structure protection and continued safe fire line operations are planned for Friday. No structures have been burned. 

A level 2 evacuation notice has been sent to residents along Forest Service Road 77 near Tamarack Camp Ground, Bennett Peak and Main Eagle areas associated with the Eagle Complex. A Level 2 evacuation notice means residents should be SET (Ready, Set, Go) to evacuate, and continue to closely monitor local media and incident information. 

Questions regarding evacuation notices and the evacuation process can be directed to the Baker County Emergency Management at 541-523-8200. 

An area closure has been implemented for public and firefighter safety and can be viewed at 

The fire danger rating has increased to EXTREME and Public Use Restrictions involving campfires and chainsaw use are in effect. 

For more information about the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest’s Public Use Restrictions, please contact any forest office, or visit our website at or on the Blue Mountain Fire Information BlogSpot at

Eagle Complex Fire Information
(541) 523-1267

The lightning-caused Cornet Fire (EOA) near Hereford, Oregon burning approximately seven miles east of Hereford, Oregon on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, Vale BLM District and on private lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry is approximately 12,791 acres. It threatens approximately 112 residences. 

Governor Kate Brown 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. Yesterday the priority was protecting structures in Stices Gulch. Firefighters continued working the south and west flanks of the fire and will continue to build lines to the northeast as resources are available. Continued fire growth is expected due to fuels and weather.

Closures: Baker County Sheriff’ Office has issued a Level 3 Evacuation Order for Stices Gulch and a level 2 Evacuation Order for Rancheria Creek, Black Mountain and Denny Creek. 

Cornet Fire Joint Information Center 

The Stouts Creek Fire (Douglas Forest Protective Association [DFPA]) 11 miles east of Canyonville near Milo on forestlands protected by DFPA, is currently estimated at approximately 24,181 acres and 65 percent containment. Night crews continue to be vigilant, holding and widening control lines while working toward securing the south end of the fire. Overnight fire activity was low as firefighters patrolled the northern portions of the fire looking for hot spots and flare ups. 

Using heavy equipment, crews have completed the majority of the containment line on the south end in preparation for the large burnout, north of Upper Cow Creek Road and Beaver Creek. Firefighters will install hoses, pumps and tanks as managers wait for favorable conditions to complete the next phase. Based on current progress and weather forecasts, the burnout could begin in the next few days.

“We should have the line completed today,” says John Pellissier, Operations Chief for the fire. “We’re about two-thirds done with the mechanical work and then we’ll run hose and water sources throughout. Operationally, we’ll be ready. Then it’s up to Mother Nature.”

Fire managers are looking for weather conditions that allow for a safe, slow burn that will minimize impact on timber and other natural resources. With many factors involved in the burn operations, any number of things out of parameters could delay the burnout.“All of the weather conditions and other factors have to be right,” Pellissier said. “We are looking to start with a smaller, slow trial process and this could take several days. It will be a slow, steady process.” The public will be given as much notice before the burnout begins as possible.

Resources: There are 1,645 personnel assigned to the fire with 49 crews, 46 engines, 27 water tenders, 20 bulldozers and 11 helicopters. Numbers of personnel and equipment will continue to shrink as objectives are met and these resources move on to fires with greater needs.

Costs: The Stouts Creek Fire costs to date are $25.5 million. The Incident Management Team leading the effort under unified command is protecting lands that are about 48% on state protected lands, which include BLM and private lands, and 52% on the Umpqua National Forest. Twenty-three states and three Canadian provinces have provided staff for this effort.

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. The cause of this fire remains under investigation.

Cable Creek Fire information:
PH: 541-817-7186

The Phillips Creek Fire (ODF Northeast Oregon District, LaGrande Unit) located seven 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 including approximately 435 acres of ODF-protected private forestlands.  

Following transition to the local Type 3 interagency Incident Management Team led by Incident Commander (IC) Joel McCraw and Deputy IC Renee Kuehner yesterday, crews continued to make steady progress in mop-up operations on all flanks of the fire. As containment objectives were successfully achieved, resources were released to help suppress and support other area fires. 

The tentative plan is to transition management of the fire back to the local district in the next three to six days.

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

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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 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.