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.







Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Stouts Fire Evening Update - Wednesday, August 5, 2015 @ 9 p.m.

Stouts Creek Fire
Evening Update
August 5, 2015

Video option with message from State Forester Decker https://www.periscope.tv/w/aJK3SDQ3MzI5ODZ8NTQ4MzI0MDcloQupLVwCmcxvjk15KIdkZXfSpXkEhY3RoNiXCL6hqQ==

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
@StoutsFire
#StoutsFire



Firefighters spent today focusing their efforts on connecting fire control lines and doing burnout operations along the east and south flanks. Crews on the fire's west and north flanks installed hoses delivering water across greater distances, and strengthening the control lines. Late afternoon winds pushed hard against containment lines on the northeast and south.

Airplanes, specifically heavy air tankers, and seven helicopters supported ground firefighters throughout the day over the Stouts Creek Fire because the smoke cleared away earlier than usual today, so the aircraft could help sooner than normal. Another helicopter is on standby to respond to medical emergencies. The air-tankers were used as the fire picked up this afternoon and evening.
"We're a tough people in Douglas County," said County Commissioner Tim Freeman. "It's going to take a while, but know the county is throwing all the resources it can bear to support the firefighters.

We've gotten through these tough fires before and we'll do it on this one."

The fire is 15 percent contained. Tonight's infrared mapping will provide a more accurate number of acres burned. Crews are working day and night shifts with over 1,400 personnel assigned to the fire.
Two task forces of structural fire protection firefighters and engines, from Lane and Lincoln Counties, continued supporting the suppression effort. One was working around Upper Cow Creek Road and the other around Drew. Crews reduced shrubs, brush, and other vegetation to make homes more defensible against fire. Crews strategically placed portable water ponds, pumps, hoses and sprinklers among the homes as a contingency measure.

Smoke will likely continue drifting from the Stouts Creek Fire and possibly other fires. The smoke may become dense later into the evening as winds increase and if crew do controlled burnouts. Most of the smoke will drift in a south and southeast directions from the fire. For updates on smoke density and public health advisories, see www.oregonsmoke.blogspot.com.

The evacuation levels remained the same throughout today. The evacuation levels in the Upper Cow Creek Road area, Milo and Drew remained at Level 2 (Set). A small area along the Tiller-Trail Highway north of Trail in Jackson County is under a Level 1 alert.

The Stouts Creek Fire is burning on private timberlands, other tracts of private land, Bureau of Land Management and Umpqua National Forest lands. The Stouts Creek Fire is being managed cooperatively by the Oregon Department of Forestry, the Office of the Oregon State Fire Marshal and the U.S. Forest Service. Wildland fire suppression direction is coming from the Oregon Department of Forestry's Incident Management Team 1. Structural fire protection is being handled by task forces under the command of the Oregon State Fire Marshal's Green Team.

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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.