Current situation

Fire season on ODF-protected land has officially ended in all of Oregon as cooler temperatures and moister conditions settle over much of the state. With the end of wildfire season in Oregon, firefighting resources are now more available. As a result, several public and private engines and crews have been dispatched to California to assist with the devastating wildfires there.































Monday, August 24, 2015

Willamina Creek Fire update - Aug. 24, 2015


Oregon Department of Forestry
West Oregon District – Dallas Unit

Fire Information number:  (503) 934-8153
                 
Special message:
Community support for firefighters on the Willamina Creek Fire has been fantastic and much appreciated. Words and signs of thanks and support buoy spirits and keep the motivation up during this long, challenging fire season. If you’re looking for a way to support the fire effort, please consider making a donation to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation (www.wffoundation.org), which honors those who have been killed and injured in the course of protecting lands, homes, and property; or the American Red Cross (www.redcross.org), which provides support to communities affected by fire and other disasters.

Current Situation: 
Work on the Willamina Creek Fire is progressing very well. The fire has not grown since Friday night. Increases in acreage shown in these updates over the last few days reflect work to collect GPS data which has resulted in a more accurate map. The final acreage is not expected to increase from today’s total of 230 acres.

Yesterday, crews worked hard on mopping up the fire around the entire perimeter. Two handheld infrared cameras were in use last night identifying burning roots and other hot spots hidden underground. Firefighters open up these spots and use water to ensure no hidden ember will escape and reignite the fire. Last night was the last full night shift; the remaining work mop up work will be completed during the day over the next few days. As operations on this fire wind down, resources will be released to assist with other fires. This fire season has been extremely challenging and, if the weather forecasts are correct, may continue for a couple more months. During the operational briefing this morning, crews were reminded to take good care of themselves and their team members to make sure they stay safe and ready to work through the rest of the season.

Effective last night at 9 p.m., the mandatory, Level 3 (Go!) evacuation order for the four cabins along East Creek Road was reduced to Level 1 (Ready). Landowners in the area are allowed to access their property. A Level 1 (Ready) evacuation means that residents should have a plan in place in case it becomes necessary to evacuate their home. Every person should assemble emergency supplies and develop a plan for where to go, critical items to take, where to take animals, and how to get out long before a threat arises. For more information about the Ready, Set, Go! Program, visit www.wildlandfirersg.org.

Weather and Fire Behavior: 
Forecasts for today call for temperatures to be around seasonal averages of 75-78 degrees, much cooler than over the last couple days. Relative humidity will be 35-40% with breezy west winds in the fire area.

FIRE STATISTICS

Location:  approx. 9 miles north of Willamina, OR                
Percent contained: 50%                             
Size:  230 acres                                                                                     
Cause:  under investigation                          
Start Date:  Aug. 19, 2015, approximately 5 p.m.                        

Wildland resources assigned to the fire include (day and night shifts): 16 hand crews, 11 engines, 4 dozers, 12 water tenders, and overhead personnel. 

Total personnel:  266

Cost estimate to date:  $860,000

Evacuations and closures:
Four cabins along East Creek Road are under a Level 1 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 - wildfireoregondeptofforestry.blogspot.com/



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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. 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.