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 Evening Update - Friday, August 21, 2015 @ 9 p.m. PDT

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

Fire Information number:  (503) 934-8153

August 21, 2015
9:00 pm

Current Situation: 
Yesterday’s winds pushed the fire beyond the containment line in the southeast corner of the fire. Today, crews put concerted effort into strengthening lines around that area. Winds increased again this afternoon which resulted in new spot fires outside of the completed line on the north side of the fire. Fire managers ordered an additional Type 2 helicopter and three SEATs (Single Engine Air Tankers) for the afternoon to provide assistance in extinguishing the new spot fires. Tonight’s focus will be on reinforcing the line around the spots.

Expected weather for tomorrow is going to test the completed lines with higher temperatures, low humidity and a return of an off-shore wind. Tomorrow’s focus will be on holding the completed lines through this period of challenging weather conditions. Fire managers continue to be hopeful about seeing containment numbers

The Willamina Creek fire started at approximately 5:00 pm on August 19 on land protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry. The fire is currently estimated to be about 212 acres and is burning in heavy fuels on BLM and private timberland. A majority of the current fireline was more accurately mapped today using GPS technology which is helping to provide more accurate acreage estimates.

This work will continue as conditions change which may lead to higher acreage numbers in the coming days.

Weather and Fire Behavior
Tonight’s weather is forecasted to be cool with higher humidity. Temperatures are expected to be between 52 and 55 degrees with 88-92% humidity. Tomorrow, hot and dry conditions with northeast winds are expected.

Fire Statistics
Location:  approx. 9 miles north of Willamina, OR  
Percent contained: 15%           
Size:  212 acres (estimated)                 
Cause:  under investigation 
Start Date: 8/19/15 
Wildland resources assigned to the fire include (day and night shifts): 12 hand crews, 11 engines, 4 dozers, 12 water tenders, and overhead personnel. 
Air resources:  1 Type 2 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.