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, September 21, 2015

2015 Northwest fire statistics to date

Following are highlight wildfire statistics in the Pacific Northwest region through Sept. 11.

·         Since June 1, approximately 1,571,218 acres were affected by wildfire in the Northwest: 576,901 acres in Oregon and 994,317 acres in Washington.
·         There were a total of 3,404 reported fires in the two-state area: 1,942  in Oregon (human-caused 849, lightning-caused 1,093), and 1,462 in Washington (human-caused 1,011, lightning-caused 451).
·         There were 101 fires meeting large fire* criteria: 41 in Oregon and 60 in Washington.

·         NW Incident Management Teams (National Interagency Management Organization, Area Command, Type 1 & Type 2) mobilized 46 times.

·         To date, a total of 58,275 lightning strikes have been recorded. The largest number of strikes occurring in one day was 6,469 (July 9).
·         In Oregon, the largest fire/complex is the Canyon Creek Complex for a total of 110,406 acres.  

·         The largest fire/complex in Washington is the North Star at 211,356 acres.

·         The estimated total firefighting cost to date exceeds $463,953,514; this includes $211,041,902** in Oregon and $252,911,612** in Washington.

·         During peak fire activity, more than 10,900 firefighters and support personnel were actively working on NW fires.

·         In Oregon, fires affected 153,142 acres of Sage Grouse habitat:

- Very high priority habitat = Less than 1 acre
- High priority habitat = 74,343 acres
- Moderate habitat = 78,798 acres

*To be considered a “large fire”, a wildfire must be at least 100 acres in timber or 300 acres in grass or brush.
not all costs have been reported.

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Comments and questions

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.


About Me

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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.