Current situation

Widespread rain and unseasonably cool temperatures in Oregon have dampened existing fires and prevented new ones, easing the strain on firefighting resources. At the same time, wet conditions are making it harder on firefighters trying to remove equipment and repair the impacts from suppression efforts. In steep areas that burned earlier this summer, mudflows, rockslides and fire-weakened trees falling are concerns.






















Thursday, September 17, 2015

Oregon Dept. of Forestry fire update - 09-17-15



The last in the current series of weather systems will move through the Pacific Northwest today continuing the cloudy and cool weather regime. More areas of wetting rain are expected across much of the region. Conditions are expected warm and dry Friday and into the weekend, so please be careful with any activity that could start a fire.  

 
FIRE FACTS

All evacuation level notifications for communities surrounding the Dry Gulch Fire have been lifted. The fire, that started Saturday, Sept. 12, is now estimated at 17,800 acres due to better mapping. Containment is 60 percent. 

Firefighters will continue mopping up hot spots near the fire perimeter to prevent any future flare-ups and spread. Rehabilitation efforts are also taking place to repair the landscape and infrastructure damaged by fire suppression efforts. This work includes mending fences and constructing water bars along bulldozer and hand lines to prevent future erosion from heavy rains.

 
Oregon Department of Forestry's Type 1 Incident Management Team is preparing to transition the fire back to a smaller fire management organization. The team is expected to hand the fire back to local jurisdictions at the end of shift Friday, and travel back to their respective home units Saturday. There are currently 216 personnel assigned to the fire consisting of 48 overhead, six 20-person crews, 15 fire engines,two bulldozers, one water tender and one helicopter. Total suppression costs to date are estimated at $1.5 million. https://www.facebook.com/DryGulchFire2015/
 
The 110,442-acre Canyon Creek Complex south of John Day is now 90 percent contained and estimated at 110,442 acres. Scattered rain showers tracked over the fire area yesterday, delivering around 0.1 inch of precipitation. There are now 189 personnel staffing the fire. Resources include: five crews, six fire engines, two bulldozers. 
 
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 Complex is currently staffed with 320 total personnel. Resources include five hand crews and 16 fire engines. Spike camps are moving out; management of the Complex is going back to the Pomeroy and Walla Walla Ranger Districts.  
 
The National Creek Complex 10 miles SW of Diamond Lake is now estimated at 20,945 acres and is 85 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. Minimal fire activity due to precipitation. The fire is currently staffed with 170 total personnel.
 
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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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: 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. 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.