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.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Dry Gulch Fire information - afternoon, 09-13-15

Fire Information line: (541) 786-0501
  The Dry Gulch fire was reported at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Saturday September 12. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation. An Oregon Dept. of Forestry incident management team will take command of the firefighting operation at 5 p.m. today.

Size: 3,800 acres
Containment: uncontained
Total personnel: 150
Jurisdiction: Oregon Dept. of Forestry, Bureau of Land Management, Eagle Valley Rural Fire District
Level 3 Evacuation (GO) order has been issued for west of the 77 road from McBride Campground to Highway 86 and the West Wall of the Halfway Valley. Level 2 Evacuation (SET) orders have been issued for Dry Gulch and New Bridge.

Yesterday’s Operations: Firefighters were dispatched at approximately 3:30 p.m. Saturday, September 12. Initial attack utilized air resources and dozers heavily to fight the fire and build containment lines.

Weather and Fire Behavior: The forecast today calls for mostly sunny conditions with temperatures near 86 degrees. The potential for active fire behavior still exists with low relative humidity in the region. Winds will be moderate with gusty winds to 15 mph from the west.

Today’s Operations: Firefighters will continue to assess opportunities for fire line construction, use air resources to help secure containment lines and provide structure protection where needed. Fire behavior will continue to be extreme with the current and forecasted weather for the next couple of days. Firefighters from ODF, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, Bureau of Land Management, and Baker County Rural Fire resources are on scene today. A local Type 3 Interagency Team will take control of the fire at 3:00 p.m.

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

The fire danger rating is still at a HIGH level and Public Use Restrictions involving campfires and chainsaw use are in effect. For more information about the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest’s Public Use Restrictions, please contact any forest office or visit our website at: or on the Blue Mountain Fire Information BlogSpot at

Regulated closures are in effect on State and private lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) in northeast and central Oregon. Please check with your local Oregon Department of Forestry office for public use restrictions on lands protected by ODF. Visit the Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch webpage at: or contact a local Oregon Department of Forestry office for more complete information.


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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 snowpack at higher elevations which will take some time to melt. However, in the summer of 2017 a series of heatwaves and a prolonged stretch of dry weather created conditions that dried forest fuels, allowing fires to start and spread. The result was more than a thousand fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.Ninety-five percent of these 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.