Lightning is largely absent from Oregon this week. However, warm, dry weather will greet the hundreds of thousands of visitors arriving to see the eclipse of the sun on Aug. 21. Avoiding activities that can spark a wildfire is key to making the eclipse a safe and pleasant experience for all. One measure adopted to reduce the risk of wildfire is a temporary ban, now in effect, on all campfires in state parks





Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Dry Gulch Fire now 17,536 acres, 20 percent contained

Oregon Dept. of Forestry
Incident Management Team 3
Link Smith, Incident Commander

September 15, 2015 update

Halfway, OR – Close to a quarter inch of rain fell on the Dry Gulch Fire yesterday calming fire behavior and slowing fire spread. The fire, located seven miles northwest of Richland, is currently estimated at 17,536 acres and 20 percent contained.

Today, fire crews will take advantage of the overnight precipitation and build fire line right along the fire’s edge.  While 274 personnel are currently assigned to the fire that includes 8 20-person crews, many firefighters will begin the process of returning to their home units over the next few days.

Conflagration Coincides with Rain
Gov. Kate Brown enacted the Conflagration Act on Sept. 14 authorizing resources from around the state to mobilize and respond to the Dry Gulch Fire. 

Based on early situational reports from Oregon Department of Forestry’s Incident Management Team, the national weather service and the local fire chief, an Incident Management Team from the Office of State Fire Marshal and four task forces to assist local structural protection resources were mobilized to the fire.

Upon arrival on Monday night, the change in weather prompted a reduction in response to two task forces to assist ODF crews in triage and prep work.

Remaining OSFM personnel will spend the morning patrolling and triaging structures along the perimeter of the fire to ensure there is no remaining threat to structures before making a decision to demobilize the incident.

A Level 2 Evacuation Notification (Get Set) remains in effect for the following areas until further notice.

Cornucopia Highway to West Wall of the Halfway Valley; West Wall of Halfway Valley; North of Carnahan Road; Hewitt/Holcomb Park; Sag Road; New Bridge; Dry Gulch; Pine Tower Lane; Moody Road.

To stay current on fire information, visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/drygulchfire2015 or at www.oregon.gov/odf. To check on this fire and others across the country, visit www.inciweb.nwcg.gov.

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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. There are about 30.4 million total 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.