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 Morning Update - Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Stouts Creek Fire
Daily Update
August 5, 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
@StoutsFire
#StoutsFire
 

Much of today’s fire suppression focus on the Stouts Creek Fire is on connecting fire lines and doing burnout operations along the east and south flanks. Crews on the fire’s west and north flanks are running hose lays and doing mop-up along the fire’s edge. Some burnout operations are also being conducted along the west side.

The fire has grown to 17,500 acres. Most of the increased size is due to fireline relocation and burnout operations. The fire is 15 percent contained.

Helicopters will be seen much of the day over the Stouts Creek Fire because the smoke has cleared out allowing the aircraft to fly earlier than normal. Seven helicopters are assigned to the incident for fire suppression support. Another helicopter is on standby to respond to medical emergencies. Air tankers are available on an as-needed basis.

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 (Ready) evacuation alert.

A task force of structural fire protection engines is in place in the Upper Cow Creek Road area and another task force is stationed in the Drew area. Residences and other structures have been evaluated for defensible space. Vegetation reduction has been completed in many areas to make homes more defensible against fire. Portable water ponds, pumps, hoses and sprinklers have been stationed in several areas among the homes.

Smoke continues to drift from the fire area and will be stronger when burnout operations are taking place. Most of the smoke will drift in a south/southeast direction from the fire. For updates on smoke density and public health advisories, see www.oregonsmoke.blogspot.com.

The Stouts Creek Fire is burning on private timberlands, other tracts of private land, Bureau of Land Management and Umpqua National Forest lands.

More than 1,400 personnel are assigned to the fire, and crews are working day and night shifts.

The cost of the fire suppression effort to date is $4.4 million.

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.