2015 another severe fire season

A cool, wet winter and heavy snowpack delayed the start of fire season in much of western and northeastern Oregon. However, the onset of hotter, drier weather is quickly drying out forests and rangeland, making it easier for fires to start. More than half of ODF-protected lands are in districts that have declared the start of fire season this month. It's especially important as summer approaches to avoid or be extra careful with any potential source of fire in wooded areas. Fire season means the end of most outdoor activities that are high risk for starting a fire, such as debris burning, campfires outside of designated areas, and using tracer ammunition and exploding targets.







Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Oregon Dept. of Forestry fire update - 09-16-15

FIRE FACTS

More than 80 residents received good news about the Dry Gulch Fire at a community meeting held at the Halfway Elementary School last night. Fire officials shared that the rain that fell on the fire in the past 24 hours has helped immensely with the fire suppression effort. The fire, now 18,272 acres and 55 percent contained, is not expected to grow much more. Firefighters have started mopping up hot spots near the fire's perimeter to prevent any chance of further spread.

Some 269 personnel are currently assigned to the fire including 10 20-person crews, 24 fire engines and one helicopter.

The 12,763-acre Eagle Complex 20 miles NW of Richland, Oregon, is 75 percent contained and has burned 463 acres of privately owned land protected by Oregon Department of Forestry
and 12,300 acres of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.

Helicopter water drops will continue today and for the next several days as needed to keep the fire within the containment area. Currently there are approximately 48 personnel assigned to the fire, including one hand crew, three fire engines, one water tender and two helicopters.This will be the final regular update for the Eagle Complex unless conditions change.

The 110,406-acre Canyon Creek Complex south of John Day is now 90 percent contained. Resources include: four crews, six fire engines and two helicopters. There are now 176 personnel staffing the fire.

The 76,475-acre Grizzly Bear Complex burning in grass and timber 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 19,498-acre National Creek Complex 10 miles SW of Diamond Lake is 70 percent contained. Of total fire size, 13,227 acres are in Crater Lake National Park boundaries, and it is the largest fire in the park's history.

The fire has had minimal growth due to the cooler temperatures and higher humidity levels. However, the humidity did not produce any measurable precipitation.The fire is currently staffed with 257 total personnel. Resources include: seven hand crews, nine fire engines and six helicopters.

Contact Info:
Cynthia Orlando, 503-945-7421 / 503-510-7972

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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.