With most of the state having gone five to six weeks without significant rain, many ODF districts have increased the fire danger level to high. When fire danger is high, outdoor activities that are high risk for starting a fire are typically banned in or near forestland, such as debris burning, campfires outside of designated areas, and using tracer ammunition and exploding targets.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


September 16, 2015 Update

Halfway, OR – 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 helped immensely in the 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.

Evacuation levels have been eased based on decreased fire behavior and threat. Homes located north of Orr Lane are now under a Level 1 evacuation notification (Ready). Homes south of Orr Lane and west of Posey Ditch remain in evacuation Level 2 (Get Set). All other evacuation level notifications have been lifted.

Favorable weather with forecasted rain is expected to continue through Thursday. While the rain is a welcome relief, it is by no means considered to be a fire season ending event. The public should continue to exercise caution when working or recreating outdoors. Fire restrictions remain in place, including smoking, campfires and off road driving. Check with your local fire protection agency for specific fire restrictions in your area or log on to www.oregon.gov/odf to access Oregon Department of Forestry’s interactive fire restrictions map.

To stay current on fire information, visit us on Facebook at
www.facebook.com/drygulchfire2015 or at www.oregon.gov/odf. To check on this fire and others across the country, visit www.inciweb.nwcg.gov.

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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. 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.


About Me

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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.