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.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Willamina Creek Fire update - 08-21-15 morning

Oregon Department of Forestry Team
West Oregon District - Dallas Unit

Fire Information number: (503) 934-8153

Special Message:
Expected weather for Saturday shows a return to hot and dry conditions, extending critical fire danger. The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) urges all Oregonians to exercise extreme caution. Before you head out to play in the wildlands, check out fire restrictions. Bring the required fire tools (a shovel plus one gallon of water or a 2-1/2 lb. fire extinguisher) with you and refrain from any activity that could create a new fire start. Nationwide, fire resources are stretched thin; preventing one more fire will help.

Current Situation:
An increase in onshore winds late yesterday afternoon pushed the fire towards the southeast, outside of the containment line that had been constructed. Overnight, crews worked to reestablish and strengthen lines around that portion of the fire. Winds calmed, temperatures dropped and humidity increased overnight, which helped crews in their efforts. Today's goal is to have line built around the entire fire and mop-up well under way by the end of the day. Fire managers want to have strong containment lines complete before the weather change, which is expected on Saturday.

The Willamina Creek fire started at approximately 5:00 pm on August 19 on land protected by ODF. The fire is currently estimated to be about 140 acres and is burning in heavy fuels on Bureau of Land Management and private timberland. The requested infrared flight for last night was not available, so acreage totals are still estimates at this time.

Weather and Fire Behavior:
Forecasted weather for today is similar to yesterday - onshore breezes with cooler temperatures and higher humidity. Temperatures today are predicted to be between 69 and 72 degrees with humidity between 50 and 55 percent. Looking out to Saturday, hot and dry conditions with northeast winds will return.

Fire Statistics
Location: approx. 9 miles north of Willamina, OR Percent contained: 10% percent
Size: 140 acres (estimated) Cause: under investigation
Start Date: 08-19-15

Wildland resources assigned to the fire include (day and night shifts): 12 hand crews, 11 fire engines, 4 bulldozers, 12 water tenders, and overhead personnel.

Air resources: 1 Type 2 (medium) helicopter

Total personnel: 226

Evacuations and closures:
Four cabins along East Creek Road remain under a Level 3 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 -
Facebook -
Twitter -

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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.