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.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Stouts Creek Fire update - Thursday morning 08-13-15

Hot temperatures and winds out of the west late Wednesday afternoon pushed the 23,841 acre Stouts Creek Fire, testing firelines. There were a few spots over the line along the southeast corner but all were contained and the remainder of the perimeter held. The fire has reached 63% containment. At 6:00 am today, Oregon Department of Forestry Team 2, lead by Incident Commander Chris Cline, will be in unified command of the fire with Forest Service Incident Commander Mike Wilde.

One of the last small areas to be burned out in the Upper Cow Creek area was successfully completed last night. Mop-up is underway in that area while much of the north end of the fire has almost completed mop-up. Mop-up means fire fighters walk the fireline, sometimes using handheld infrared devices, and ensure that no heat or smoke is visible for several hundred feet inside. Mop-up also continues along some sections of the southeast, south and southwest flanks. Operations managers report that there are still those areas with large, burning trees inside the line that, with a bit of wind, higher temperatures and dry receptive fuels could carry fire outside containment lines.

“I think the message that we got with yesterday’s unexpected critical fire weather,” says Deputy Incident Commander Russ Lane, “is that, despite the success we’ve had, this is still a big fire with a lot of life and potential in it. We will continue to be vigilant, holding and widening the lines we have while we work to wrap up the south end.” The weather is expected to continue to be hot and dry again today which will increase fire behavior. There is still a large burnout needed on the south end of the fire, north of Upper Cow Creek Road and Beaver Creek. Prep work along roads in the area continues as firefighters wait for the right conditions to complete that operation.

The Stouts Creek Fire has had an unusually good safety record for a fire that has had over 1900 people. The medical unit’s primary complaints have been a significant number of firefighters dealing with poison oak and bee stings. Wednesday afternoon, a firefighter was also taken off the line with a knee injury and taken to a local hospital.

There currently are 1,560 personnel assigned to the fire with 56 crews, 46 engines, 30 water tenders, 21 bulldozers and 10 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 $22.4 million. The Incident Management Team leading the effort under unified command is protecting lands that are about 52 percent on state protected lands, which include BLM and private lands, and 48 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

No comments:

Post a Comment

Have a question/comment about this season's wildfire activity on the 16 million acres of private and public forestlands that the Oregon Dept. of Forestry protects from wildfire? Let us know. Please keep your remarks civil and free of profanity.

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

My photo
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.