Current situation

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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Dry Gulch Fire spreads to 1,200 acres

1:55 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015

The Dry Gulch Fire reported Saturday evening burning seven miles NW of the town of Richland, Oregon, in the Oregon Department of Forestry's Northeast Oregon District has grown to 1,200 acres. The fire is burning in grass and brush fuels. Twelve structures are threatened. A Type 3 (local) incident management team will take over management of the fire at 3 p.m. today.
Steep terrain is challenging firefighters, and access is limited. This morning, resources fighting the fire included seven single-engine air tankers and three helicopters. Two heavy air tankers and a lead plane were on order at that time along with other resources. Several hand crews have been assembled to perform direct attack. Cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

News contact:
Rod Nichols

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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 about current wildfires. Please keep your posts civil and free of profanity.

Current wildfire info

National weather forecasters predictions that Oregon would see above average temperatures and below average rainfall in the summer of 2018 proved true. Almost all of Oregon was abnormally dry this summer, with a majority of the state in moderate to severe drought. Many areas posted record high temperatures or record strings of hot days. These conditions set the stage for potentially large, fast-moving wildfires.

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.