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.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Stouts Creek Fire Evening Update - Friday, August 7, 2015

Stouts Creek Fire
Evening Update
August 7, 2015

Public Information Phone: (541) 825-3724 (7 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
Twitter: @StoutsFire

Friday was a good day on the 20,804 acre Stouts Creek Fire just south of Tiller, Oregon, and firefighters made significant progress on every flank of the fire. Burnout operations to the North along Hatchet Creek and to the east near Milepost 33 of the Tiller-Trail Hwy went well during the afternoon and will continue into the night.

Helicopters were visible dipping from the South Umpqua River and making repeated bucket drops along the Hatchet Creek drainage, supporting firefighters as they held the fire within contingency lines.  That work will continue into the night.  West of Milepost 33 on the Tiller-Trail Hwy, firefighters began a burnout on three knobs this afternoon, to bring the fire down the hills slowly and at their pace. This burnout will help Saturday’s planned burnout in the same area, to keep flames low to the ground and burning slowly. 

Fire managers warn, however, that this burnout activity, along with the fire’s normal spread, will likely put smoke into Tiller, along the South Umpqua River and down the Tiller-Trail Hwy and in Drew. “The smoke could be a problem,” said Incident Commander John Buckman, “especially late tonight and early in the morning, for people with health issues or for anyone driving in those areas.” The public is asked to use extreme caution when driving in smoky areas and watch out for each other and fire equipment.

Besides the northeast and east sides of the fire, the rest is in varying end stages of firefighting: some are completing fireline dug by hand, others are seeing progress with the use of a significant amount of heavy equipment, while the northwestern and western perimeters are being aggressively mopped-up and have very little fire activity.

The Upper Cow Creek Road and Milo area, as well as a small area along the Tiller-Trail Highway north of Trail in Jackson County, are under a Level 1 (Ready) evacuation alert. Drew (MP 28 to 39) remains at Level 2 (Set).
The fire is 25 percent contained. Over 1,500 personnel are assigned to the fire suppression effort. The cost of suppression so far is $12.1 million.
The Stouts Creek Fire is burning on private timberlands, other tracts of private land, Bureau of Land Management and Umpqua National Forest lands.
The Stouts Creek Fire is being managed cooperatively by the Oregon Department of Forestry, the Office of the Oregon State Fire Marshal and the U.S. Forest Service. Wildland fire suppression direction is coming from the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Incident Management Team 1.

Structural fire protection is being handled by task forces under the command of the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Green Team.

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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.


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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.