Current situation

Sunny and dry conditions again prevail across Oregon this week. Mild temperatures will give way to warmer conditions, melting snow and drying fuels faster. This will raise fire risk across the state. There have already been twice as many wildfires on ODF-protected land compared to the same time last year, with more than twice as many acres burned.

May is Wildfire Awareness Month, a time when homeowners are urged to take steps to reduce the risk of wildfire around their house and other structures. Among these are clearing debris from roofs and gutters, cutting back brush from around structures, and removing lower branches from trees.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Dry Gulch Fire expands to 12,000 acres

Dry Gulch Fire Information

Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, 9 p.m.

Fire Information: (541) 786-0501

Dry Gulch Fire exhibits extreme behavior

The Dry Gulch fire burning seven miles northwest of Richland, Oregon, has burned approximately 12,000 acres. Due to the rapidly changing fire environment, evacuation orders have been issued and can rapidly change according to the situation.

Level 3 Evacuation (GO) orders have been issued for:
*77 road from McBride Campground to Highway 86
*The West Wall of the Halfway Valley
*Pine Town Lane east of Halfway
*New Bridge to Carnahan Lane
*Carnahan Lane to Hewitt Park
*Along the Powder River arm to Sag Road and Sag Road to Highway 86
Level 2 Evacuation (SET) orders have been issued for:
*Dry Gulch
*New Bridge.
*Between Carnahan Lane and Moody Road
*Cornucopia Highway and the West Wall of the Halfway Valley

Sunday's operations: Firefighters worked to assess opportunities for fire lines and used aircraft and heavy equipment to establish fire lines where fire behavior allowed. The fire burned extremely actively, pushed by gusty winds and low relative humidity. Structure protection and public and firefighter safety took precedence in Sunday's operations. Due to the increase in size and complexity, an ODF Type 1 Team (Smith) was been ordered and will take command of the fire Monday.

Weather and Fire Behavior: The forecast Sunday evening called for clear conditions with gusty winds up to 18 m.p.h. from the Northwest. Humidity recovery was expected to be poor Sunday evening. Weather for Monday is expected to be mostly clear with lighter winds and lower temperatures.

Road Closures
Road closures have been implemented for public and firefighter safety and include:
-Eagle Creek Road from New Bridge
-77 Road from McBride Campground to Highway 86
-Highway 86 from Richland to Halfway
Quick Facts Incident Summary
Size: 12,000 acres
Fire Containment: 0%
Incident Commander: Mike McDonnall
Total Personnel: 150
Oregon Department of Forestry, Bureau of Land Management, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest
and Eagle Valley Rural Fire District
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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.