Current situation

Sunny and dry conditions again prevail across Oregon this week. Mild temperatures will give way to warmer conditions, melting snow and drying fuels faster. This will raise fire risk across the state. There have already been twice as many wildfires on ODF-protected land compared to the same time last year, with more than twice as many acres burned.

May is Wildfire Awareness Month, a time when homeowners are urged to take steps to reduce the risk of wildfire around their house and other structures. Among these are clearing debris from roofs and gutters, cutting back brush from around structures, and removing lower branches from trees.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Stouts Creek Fire updated - Aug. 23, 2015

A red sun glows above the fire line today as firefighters expect to spend another day battling the fire in extreme working conditions. An inversion is sitting over the fire area, holding the smoke down at ground level. Operations Section Chief John Pellissier told crew bosses “ to rotate your crews in and out of the super smokey areas in your division today.”  Crews will continue work on securing the line by extinguishing hot spots and felling dangerous snags.

The dense smoke will ground helicopters here today but they'll be available to nearby fires if needed. Late yesterday afternoon, helicopters flew using the Plastic Sphere Device Machine (aka, ping pong machine) to lay a line of fire in the middle of an unburnt area of fuel. The goal is to have the fire consume all the fuels and complete the burnout. This is the final stretch of a long and slow burnout operation needed to complete the team’s objective of containing the fire and minimizing the impacts to the Elk Creek Restoration Project.

A Level 2 Evacuation notice (Get Set) remains in place for residents on Upper Cow Creek Road east of Devils Flat to the end of the road. This precautionary measure is because of high temperatures and low humidities that might cause increased fire behavior.

The Stouts Creek Fire has blackened 26,367 acres and is 84 percent contained and still has the potential for rapid growth. A contingency plan to protect structures on Upper Cow Creek is in place and will be activated if needed. Evacuation levels for all other areas remain at Level 1 (Get Ready).

The Stouts Creek Fire has been managed under unified command by Oregon Department of Forestry Team 2 Incident Commander Chris Cline and Forest Service Incident Commander Mike Wilde, since August 13.

There are 694 personnel assigned to the fire with 11 crews, 15 engines, 18 water tenders, 6 bulldozers and five helicopters. To date, the Stout Creek Fire has cost $34.4 million. The Incident Management Team is protecting lands that are about 46 percent on state protected lands, which include BLM and private lands and 54% on the Umpqua National Forest.


● 26,3678 acres
● 84% contained
● 158 residences threatened
● Personnel: 694
● Helos: 5
● Handcrews: 11
● Engines: 15
● Dozers: 6
● Water Tenders: 18
● Evacuations:  Level 2 (Get Set) for the area of Upper Cow Creek Road east from Devil's Flat to the end of the road. All other areas remain in Level 1.

Cell: 206-402-7175

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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.


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.