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.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Stouts Fire Evening Update - Sunday, August 9, 2015

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

Things Progress Well On The Stouts Creek Fire

It was another good day on the Stouts Creek Fire with a significant amount of work completed by firefighters, helicopters and heavy equipment. The work being done along the northern perimeter to bring the fire down to the bottom of Hatchet Creek where it intersects with the South Umpqua River is expected to be complete tonight. Most other burnout operations to the east and southeast are complete, or nearly so, and mop-up has begun in earnest.

The Oregon Fremont Winema Type 2 Initial Attack (T2IA) crew, along with T2IA crews from Massachusetts, Ohio and two from West Virginia all arrived tonight to assist. T2IA crews differ from regular type 2 hand crews in their ability to conduct burnouts, as well as their skills falling larger trees.

The Incident Meteorologist predicts winds from an approaching front will put smoke in the communities of Tiller and Drew tomorrow morning. Those with health concerns should talk to their doctor or go to where there is information on wildfires and health, as well as access to AQI monitors. Motorists are urged be careful driving through smoke on the roads, and turn on their low beam headlights. Residents and travelers also are asked to not stop along Tiller-Trail Highway to view fire or helicopter activity as traffic is heavy with response vehicles. A change in wind direction midday should help clear the smoke out around 1:00 pm.

Tonight's work will focus on finishing the small areas of burnout still left around the perimeter as well as prepping roads to the south with heavy equipment for a future large burn. The road prep is establishing a contingency line along Forest Roads 32, 3201 and 3230 which would be used to hold a fairly large burnout planned for next week should it begin to move south further than expected.

There are no changes to the current evacuation levels. Drew remains the only Level II from milepost 28 through milepost 39 and revising that designation is under consideration.

The Stouts Creek Fire has reached a cost of $16.9 million. Fifty two percent is on state protected, BLM and private lands, and 48% is on the Umpqua National Forest. It 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:

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.