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.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

State Forester calls on Oregonians to prevent all human-caused fires

Oregon Department of Forestry

August 15, 2015

Media Contact: Paul Ries, 503-508-0990

State Forester calls on Oregonians to prevent all human-caused fires

“Wildfire activity in Oregon has escalated significantly since Friday, particularly in eastern Oregon,” said Doug Decker, Oregon State Forester. “If you couple these major fires with increasing shortages of firefighting resources and add in the extreme fire danger and conditions statewide, you can see just how critical it is to prevent the next fire.”

“I’m asking every Oregonian and visitor to help us eliminate the risk of any new human-caused fire through the rest of fire season,” said Decker. “Now is the time for vigilance and fire awareness.”

Fire regulations are in effect across Oregon’s wildlands, pertaining directly to anyone living, recreating or working there. The Department of Forestry uses its citation authority to enforce fire restrictions on lands in its jurisdiction, and investigates every fire. Liability for fire costs goes to responsible parties.

Multiple fast-moving fires have ignited in eastern Oregon in the past 48 hours. The 13,742-acre El Dorado Fire, the 34,000 acre Canyon Creek Complex, the 23,000-acre Windy Ridge and the 26,000-acre Cornet fires are burning forest resources, threatening homes and transportation corridors, and prompting evacuations and closures. On Friday, Governor Brown invoked the Conflagration Act to mobilize structural firefighting resources for the Canyon Creek Complex of fires near John Day. Additional structural task forces have been mobilized elsewhere in the state.

Important wildfire prevention resources:





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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.