2015 another severe fire season

A cool, wet winter and heavy snowpack delayed the start of fire season in much of western and northeastern Oregon. However, the onset of hotter, drier weather is quickly drying out forests and rangeland, making it easier for fires to start. More than half of ODF-protected lands are in districts that have declared the start of fire season this month. It's especially important as summer approaches to avoid or be extra careful with any potential source of fire in wooded areas. Fire season means the end of most outdoor activities that are high risk for starting a fire, such as debris burning, campfires outside of designated areas, and using tracer ammunition and exploding targets.







Sunday, August 9, 2015

Stouts Creek Fire
Morning Update
August 9, 2015 

Public Information Phone: (541) 825-3724 (7 a.m. to 9 p.m.) http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4426/                       www.facebook.com/StoutsFire
Email:  StoutsFire@gmail.com
Twitter: @StoutsFire
       #StoutsFire
 

TODAY’S PUBLIC MEETING: 7 pm at Milo Volunteer Fire Department
 
Aggressive firefighting continued Saturday on the Stouts Creek Fire as the number of structures threatened decreased from more than 300 previously to 163 today. Containment increased to 35% with acreage up to 22,501. The bulk of the activity occurred along the eastern perimeter of the fire, specifically along Hatchet Creek in the northeast and Forest Service Road 3201 to the south.

Today’s plans call for more of the same tactics that have been successful in recent days: burnout operations along Hatchet Creek will continue, crews will work to strengthen lines along the fire’s southern edge and much of the remaining perimeter is in various stages of mop up.

One big change for today is the alignment of upper- and lower-level winds in a west to southwest direction. This will push more smoke into the areas of Milo and Tiller while possibly alleviating smoke issues for residents along Upper Cow Creek Road.

People who are planning to drive the Tiller-Trail Highway today should plan for extra time as traffic can be congested and smoke could be an issue between Milo and Drew and points beyond. If motorists encounter smoke on the road, treat it as fog and use low beam headlights. Please do not stop along the road as traffic from fire operations will be heavy.

Those with health concerns should go to their doctor or www.oregonsmoke.blogspot.com where there is information on wildfires and health, as well as access to AQI monitors.

There are no changes to the evacuation levels.
 
There are 1,628 people – 62 crews, 47 engines, 28 water tenders and 27 bulldozers – now are working on the fire which has reached a cost of $16.8 million. 53% of the fire is on state protected, BLM and private lands, and 47% is on the Umpqua National Forest.

The Stouts Creek Fire is burning on private timberlands, other tracts of private land, Bureau of Land Management and Umpqua National Forest lands. The fire is being managed cooperatively by the Oregon Department of Forestry and the U.S. Forest Service. Wildland fire suppression direction is coming from the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Incident Management Team 1.

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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. There are about 30.4 million total 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.