Current situation

Widespread rain and unseasonably cool temperatures in Oregon have dampened existing fires and prevented new ones, easing the strain on firefighting resources. At the same time, wet conditions are making it harder on firefighters trying to remove equipment and repair the impacts from suppression efforts. In steep areas that burned earlier this summer, mudflows, rockslides and fire-weakened trees falling are concerns.






















Friday, August 14, 2015

Stouts Creek Fire morning update - Aug. 14, 2015

Stouts Creek Fire Morning Update

August 14, 2015

Night crews on the Stouts Creek Fire continued to be vigilant, holding and widening control lines while working toward securing the south end of the fire on Thursday. Overnight fire activity was low as firefighters patrolled the northern portions of the 24,181-acre fire looking for hot spots and flare ups. The fire is 65 percent contained.

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, that burnout could begin in the next few days.

“We should have the line completed today,” said John Pellissier, Operations Chief for the fire. “We’re about 2/3 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 will 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.

There are 1,645 personnel assigned to the fire with 49 hand crews, 46 fire 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.

 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 percent on state-protected lands, which include Bureau of Land Management and private lands, and 52 percent on the Umpqua National Forest. Twenty-three states and three Canadian provinces have provided staff for this effort.

Stouts Fire Information Office
Phone 541-825-3724
Facebook: www.facebook.com/StoutsFire

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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

Cool, wet weather in the winter of 2016-17 ended Oregon's long drought and left a thick snowpack at higher elevations which will take some time to melt. However, even in non-drought years Oregon's warm, dry summers create conditions that allow for fire to start and spread. In an average summer firefighters still see almost a thousand fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.



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.