Current situation

Heat returns to much of the state early this week, with air quality alerts from wildfire smoke for northwest Oregon and Josephine, Jackson, Klamath and Lake counties. Lightning sparked a number of wildfires over the weekend, with a chance for more through Monday in eastern Oregon.


Many ODF districts and forest protective associations are in high or extreme fire danger with tightened restrictions on activities linked to fire starts. Check ODF's fire restrictions and closures web page for the latest details at http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Oregon Dept. of Forestry fire update - 09-15-15

FIRE FACTS

The Dry Gulch Fire burning east of Baker City and seven miles northwest of Richland, Oregon, is estimated at 17,536 acres and is now 20 percent contained.
 
Gov. Kate Brown enacted the Conflagration Act on September 14, authorizing resources from around the state to mobilize and respond. Based on early situational reports from ODF's Incident Management Team, the national weather service and local fire chief, an Incident Management Team from the Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM) and four task forces were mobilized to the fire.

Upon the team's arrival Monday evening, a 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.

Some 274 personnel are currently assigned to the fire including eight 20-person crews; however, over the next few days many firefighters will begin the process of returning to their home units.

The 12,763-acre Eagle Complex 20 miles NW of Richland, Oregon, is 75 percent contained. Minimal fire behavior is occurring, with creeping and smoldering. The fires are currently staffed with 78 total personnel. Resources include: two hand crews, four fire engines and two helicopters.

 
The 110,406-acre Canyon Creek Complex south of John Day is now 90 percent contained. The fires are currently staffed with 186 total personnel. Resources include: four crews, nine fire engines, two bulldozers, three water tenders and two helicopters.

The 75,478-acre Grizzly Bear Complex 20 miles SE of Dayton, Wash., and near Troy, Ore., in the Northeast Oregon District is 44 percent contained. The fires are currently staffed with 332 total personnel. Resources include: five hand crews and 16 fire engines.

The 16,744-acre National Creek Complex 10 miles SW of Diamond Lake is 70 percent contained. The fire is currently staffed with 257 total personnel. Resources include: seven hand crews, nine fire engines and six helicopters. The fires are now smoldering and creeping along the ground due to drop in temperature and rise in humidity.


About this Update

This update provides information primarily about fires on Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) protected lands involving fires 10 acres or larger. ODF provides fire protection primarily on private and state-owned forestland, and Bureau of Land Management forestlands west of the Cascades, and also works closely with partner firefighting agencies.

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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 are predicting the summer of 2018 will see above average temperatures and below average rainfall. Drought has already been declared in a number of counties in eastern and southern Oregon, with northwest Oregon also unusually dry for June. 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.