Current situation

ODF's Southwest Oregon district has become the first to announce it will be declaring the start of fire season restrictions beginning Friday, June 1. The district has already reported having 34 wildfires burning 35 acres. Two-thirds (26) were caused by humans.

Statewide, the number of wildfires now exceeds 100, with 124 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.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Dry Gulch Fire reaches 15,500 acres

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

Update Sept. 14, afternoon 

Halfway, OR – The Dry Gulch Fire is currently estimated at 15,500 acres. Oregon Department of Forestry’s Type 1 Incident Management Team 3, led by Incident Commander Link Smith, assumed command of the fire from a local Type 3 organization Monday at noon.

Much of the fire activity since Saturday has been fueled by high winds, growing from a few hundred acres Saturday to well over 10,000 acres by Sunday evening. The fire is burning primarily in lighter fuels such as grass and brush with timber burning in the higher elevations. Rain that hit the area Monday was a welcome relief, but not significant enough to put the fire out. Firefighters will focus much of their attention to the south and east ends of the fire in an effort to slow its spread and keep it away from the Halfway community.

The rain was helpful in reducing fire behavior and allowed Level 3 evacuation levels to be reduced to Level 2. While residents previously under a Level 3 may return to their homes, the wildfire threat still exists and people should remain prepared to leave at a moment’s notice. Just as the rainfall alleviated the fire behavior, a return to warm, windy conditions could also raise the threat.

Areas under a Level 2 evacuation notice, meaning to "Get Ready," include the following areas: 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.

Fire officials and Baker County Emergency Management will continue to assess the situation and make necessary changes to the evacuation levels as needed. For more information about the Ready Set Go evacuation level system, visit .

While Highway 86 is now open, motorists are asked to stay clear of the area due to high fire traffic.  Major highway and road closure information can also be found by visiting

To stay current on fire information, visit us on Facebook at or at To check on this fire and others across the country, visit


No comments:

Post a Comment

Have a question/comment about this season's wildfire activity on the 16 million acres of private and public forestlands that the Oregon Dept. of Forestry protects from wildfire? Let us know. Please keep your remarks civil and free of profanity.

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

My photo
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.