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.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Willamina Creek Fire Evening Update - Monday, August 24, 2015

Willamina Creek Fire Update
Oregon Department of Forestry
West Oregon District – Dallas Unit

Fire Information number:  (503) 934-8153

August 24, 2015
8:00 pm

Current Situation: 
Crews working on the Willamina Creek Fire spent the day fully-engaged in mop-up activities. This is arduous work during which firefighters locate and fully extinguish every hot spot. This process requires digging out roots and stumps or breaking apart piles of burned fuel which still has burning material deep inside. Crews often use water to extinguish the burning material completely until they can’t feel any heat. Mop up can be a long process—especially in the heavy fuels that characterize the northwest Oregon Coast Range forests. Firefighters on the Willamina Creek Fire will be mopping up the entire 230 acre fire area to ensure no hidden ember has a chance to escape and reignite the fire. Tree fallers were working in the fire area again today taking down snags and hazard trees to protect the crews who will be working below. Handheld infrared cameras will be used again tonight to help identify as many hidden hot spots as possible. A few crews will also be working on mop up this evening. 

This will be the last evening update for this fire.  Daily updates will continue to be provided in the morning once per day unless conditions change.

Weather and Fire Behavior
The weather forecast is expected to become partly cloudy overnight with temperatures between 50 and 53 degrees and 84-88% humidity.

Fire Statistics
Location: approx. 9 miles north of Willamina, OR  
Percent contained: 75%           
Size: 230 acres                   
Cause: under investigation  
Start Date: 8/19/15, approximately 5:00 pm  
Wildland resources assigned to the fire include (day and night shifts): 13 hand crews, 6 engines, 1 dozer, 6 water tenders, and overhead personnel. 
Total personnel:  197
Cost estimate to date:  $1,086,000

Evacuations and closures:
Four cabins along East Creek Road are under a Level 1 (Ready, in the Ready, Set, Go! system) evacuation. Willamina Creek Road and East Creek Road are closed north of the junction with Coast Creek Road.

Places to get information:
ODF Fire Blog -
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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.


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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.