All ODF fire protection districts are now in fire season. It's especially important in summer 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.













Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Jones Canyon Fire update - 06-30-15, evening

The Jones Canyon Fire in the John Day Unit of the Central Oregon District is currently 800 acres. Potential of this lightning-caused fire burning in grass, brush and juniper fuels remains high.

Sugarloaf Fire update - June 30, 2015 a.m.

Oregon Dept. of Forestry's Incident Management Team 1 reported on the status of the Sugarloaf Fire this morning.

Contact: Brian Ballou, Information Officer, (541) 621-4156 

Fire at a glance:
Size: 5,016 acres
Containment: 20 percent
Cause: lightning
Firefighting resources: 7 hand crews, 12 fire engines, 2 bulldozers, 2 water tenders, 232 total personnel
 
The Sugarloaf Fire is expected to burn more intensely today. The moisture from Sunday’s thunderstorms has dissipated, resulting in drier fuels and lower relative humidity. The amount the fire spreads will be largely influenced by winds and topography. The primary fuels inside the fire perimeter are grasslands and juniper trees in the low country and pine and fir stringers on the upper slopes. This lightning-caused fire covers 5,016 acres and is 20% contained.  There are 232 persons assigned to day shift on the fire.
On Monday, progress was made on extinguishing areas around structures on Dick Creek Road.  Helicopters were used to cool an area with steep slopes and heavy fuels above Johnny Creek on the north edge of the fire. Dozers worked on creating and improving fuel breaks along the north and east edges of the fire.
Steep slopes and limited access are restricting the suppression efforts on several areas of the fire. Due to steep, broken terrain, fire lines are being dug by hand along parts of the northeast and south edges of the fire. Unburned pockets of fuel inside the current fire area also continue to burn. Engines are patrolling the perimeter roads and the Dick Creek Road to extinguish hot spots near structures. Approximately 12 structures in the Dick Creek Road area were threatened by the fire.
Yesterday this fire team assumed command of a new fire that started to the west of the Sugarloaf Fire. The Blue Basin Fire burned about 400 acres east of State Route 19, largely within the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. Fire personnel will be working to control this fire without damaging the special resources in the Monument.  This is a human-caused fire, under investigation.
The Oregon Department of Forestry’s Incident Management Team 1 assumed command of the Sugarloaf Fire at 6:00 a.m. yesterday. The team is working for the Bureau of Land Management, the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument and ODF’s Central Oregon District. The fire is located approximately 8 miles north of Dayville. This incident is being managed as a full suppression fire. Efforts are being made to contain the fire and minimize private acreage burned.
Sensitive sites within the fire area include nationally recognized fossil beds, anadromous fish spawning beds and golden eagle nesting sites. Firefighters are using care to minimize suppression impacts in these areas while they take the actions necessary to contain the fire.
Hazards confronting firefighters include rattlesnakes, lightning, and hot, dry weather. High winds around thunderstorms may cause erratic fire behavior and rapid movement.
Information about the Sugarloaf Fire is posted online at www.centralorfireinfo.blogspot.com.
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Oregon Dept. of Forestry fire update - June 30, 2015

This update is for the 16 million acres of private and public forestlands protected by the Oregon Dept. of Forestry.

FIRES ON ODF-PROTECTED LANDS

The lightning-caused Jones Canyon Fire is 500 to 600 acres, burning in the Fossil Subunit of the Central Oregon District, 12 miles NE of Monument. The fire is active and uncontained.

Harper Creek Complex – The complex includes three fires: The largest is the Harper Creek Fire at 320 acres, located four miles south of Mt. Vernon. The Hog Creek Fire is 96 acres, located six miles east of Long Creek. The Luce Creek Fire is 25 acres, located three miles SW of John Day. All are lightning caused and burning in the John Day Unit of the Central Oregon District. Firefighters expect to fully contain the two smaller fires by the end of shift today. The largest fire is 50 percent contained. ODF is gradually releasing firefighting resources from the Harper Creek Complex and reassigning them to the Jones Canyon Fire.

The lightning-caused, 15-acre Happy Ridge Fire reported June 29 burning in the Central Oregon District has been contained and is in mop-up. Air support played a key role in catching the fire at relatively small size.


FIRES ON OTHER LANDS

The lightning-caused Sugarloaf Fire experienced some growth yesterday and is approximately 5,000 acres. It is burning in the Prineville BLM District north of Dayville and is 20 percent contained. ODF’s Incident Management Team 1 is in command of the suppression operation.  

The 14,600-acre Jaca Reservoir Fire burning 87 miles south of Vale on Bureau of Land Management lands is 40 percent contained. Cause is under investigation. More info: http://gacc.nifc.gov/nwcc/information/fire_info.aspx

The 248-acre Jones Canyon Fire burning 20 miles SW of Ukiah on is uncontained. Cause is under investigation. More info: http://gacc.nifc.gov/nwcc/information/fire_info.aspx

The 639-acre Little Basin Fire burning in the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, Wallowa-Whitman Nat’l Forest, is 97 percent contained. Cause is under investigation. More info: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4290/

The lightning-caused, 5,345-acre Buckskin Fire burning on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest is 60 percent contained. More info: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4286/

The lightning-caused, 320-acre Bunker Hill Complex burning 30 miles SE of Oakridge on the Willamette National Forest is 30 percent contained. More info: http://gacc.nifc.gov/nwcc/information/fire_info.aspx

The lightning-caused, 4,000-acre Leslie Gulch Fire burning 45 miles south of Vale on Bureau of Land Management lands is uncontained. More info: http://gacc.nifc.gov/nwcc/information/fire_info.aspx

The lightning-caused, 300-acre Candy Kid Fire burning on Bureau of Land Management lands eight miles north of Drewsy is uncontained. More info: http://gacc.nifc.gov/nwcc/information/fire_info.aspx

The lightning-caused, 300-acre OR-OCH-000297 Fire burning 11 miles south of Dayville on National Forest lands is uncontained. More info: http://gacc.nifc.gov/nwcc/information/fire_info.aspx

Monday, June 29, 2015

Oregon Dept. of Forestry fire update - 06-29-15 evening

Fires burning on ODF-protected lands:



  Happy Ridge Fire - The 10-acre lightning-caused Happy Ridge Fire was reported June 29 burning in the Central Oregon District. The 10-acre lightning-caused fire is burning in pine and oak fuels. 

Harper Complex - The lightning-caused Harper Complex fires reported June 28 are burning in the John Day Unit of the Central Oregon District. They include the 600-acre Harper Fire, and the  25-acre Luce Creek Fire.

Jones Canyon Fire - The 248-acre lightning-caused Jones Canyon Fire reported June 28 is burning in the John Day Unit.

Hog Creek Fire -  The 96-acre lightning-caused Hog Creek Fire reported June 28 is burning in the John Day Unit.


Fires burning on other lands:
 
Sugarloaf Fire - The 4,000-acre lightning-caused Sugarloaf Fire reported June 27 burning on Bureau of Land Management lands has been assigned to ODF's Team 1. The incident management team took command June 29. 



Oregon Dept. of Forestry fire update - June 29, 2015

Due to exceptionally dry landscape and drought conditions, hot weather and forecasted lightning, the risk of extreme fire activity remained high through the weekend and into this coming week. The Oregon Department of Forestry, forestland owners and agency partners are managing fire conditions usually experienced in late July or early August. 
A high pressure system is forecast for the southern Oregon area, with high temps, dry weather and slight chance of thunderstorms. The National Weather Service is calling for a hot and dry air mass to settle back into the Willamette Valley and Portland areas through the end of the work week; a Red Flag warning for thunderstorms is in effect for NE Oregon.

FIRES ON ODF-PROTECTED LANDS
The 700-acre lightning-caused Harper Complex Fire is burning in timber, brush and grass approximately 8 miles southwest of John Day. Approximately 10 residents are threatened. This complex includes the lightning-caused Hog Creek Fire, 30 acres, and the 25-acre Luce Creek Fire.  A local Type 3 Team has been assigned to the Harper Complex.

The Jones Canyon Fire is approximately 500 acres and burning approximately 12 miles NE of Monument in grass, brush and juniper in the old Monument Complex. Resources assigned: 4 engines, 1 crew, 1 dozer and 1 helo have been assigned to this fire.

The Sugar Loaf Fire was reported Saturday burning in grass and timber in central Oregon on BLM land 9 miles north of Dayville. One outbuilding has been destroyed and 12 residences threatened. Fire size is estimated at 4,095 acres. ODF Team 1 (Buckman) is assigned to this fire. Evacuations are being coordinated by the Grant County Sheriff's Office. 

In addition to the Sugarloaf fire, firefighters have been working on the 250-acre Buck Creek Fire located 18 miles northeast of Hampton, Oregon, which is now at 90 percent containment, and the 30-acre Bear Creek Fire located 7 miles south of Prineville Reservoir, which is now 100 percent contained.

The Smith Hollow Fire is burning in grass and brush near Fossil; this 21-acre fire is 100 percent lined. Cause is under investigation.

As the Fourth of July holiday approaches, fire officials also want to remind everyone that possession or use of fireworks on Forest Service or BLM land is illegal.

FIRES ON OTHER LANDS

Jaca Reservoir Fire (USDI / BLM) is located 87 miles south of Vale, Oregon, is estimated at 1,500 acres and is burning in brush and grass.

The Leslie Gulch Fire (USDI / BLM) is a lightning-caused fire burning in grass and brush approximately 45 miles south of Vale.

The lightning-caused Bunker Hill Fire (USFS) reported June 26 burning in timber 30 miles SE of Oakridge, OR., is 167 acres and 10 percent contained. More info available at: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4328/http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4328/

The lightning-caused Buckskin Fire (USFS) reported June 11 burning 10 miles SW of Cave Junction on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest is 5,345 acres and 60 percent contained. More info available at:  http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4286/

ODF fire team takes command of Sugarloaf Fire

Oregon Dept. of Forestry's Incident Management Team 1 took over command of the 5,500-acre Sugarloaf Fire Monday morning. The fire team is stationed at Dayville School. The fire is burning nine miles north of Dayville on Bureau of Land Management lands and private lands protected by the BLM. ODF's team is managing the suppression effort because all four interagency teams are already deployed (to two fires in Oregon, and two in Alaska). Reported Saturday, the fire is burning in brush, grass and timber fuels. It is 20 percent contained. One outbuilding has been destroyed, and a dozen residences are threatened. Cause is lightning.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) daily fire update for Sunday, June 28, 2015.

Due to exceptionally dry landscape and drought conditions, hot weather and forecasted lightning, the risk of extreme fire activity has remained high through the weekend and into this coming week. The Oregon Department of Forestry, forestland owners and agency partners are prepared to manage conditions usually experienced in late July or early August. 

Saturday, an excessive heat warning was in effect for the Willamette Valley including the greater Portland and Vancouver area, the lower Columbia and the western and central Columbia River gorge. The Northwest Interagency Coordination Center in Portland advises that “A surge of moisture and instability will continue moving northward across Oregon and Washington today and tonight. Lightning strikes are expected to ignite new fires despite showers with the thunderstorms. The combination of fire danger, instability, and numerous lightning strikes is creating nearly optimum conditions for ignition and growth of large, costly fires across much of the geographic area through Monday before conditions moderate during the new week."
 
FIRES ON ODF-PROTECTED LANDS
The 
Sugar Loaf Fire was reported burning Saturday burning in grass and timber in central Oregon on BLM land 9 miles north of Dayville. Extreme Fire behavior with residences evacuated and one outbuilding destroyed. Fire size is estimated at 5,500 acres. A State Type I Team is being assigned to this fire. Evacuations are being coordinated by the Grant County Sheriff's Office. 

In addition to the Sugarloaf fire, firefighters are working on The Buck Creek Fire (#250) located 18 miles northeast of Hampton, Oregon, which held at 250 acres overnight; and the Bear Creek Fire (#251) located 7 miles south of Prineville Reservoir near Bear Creek Butte. This fire held at 30 acres overnight. Crews will continue to hold and improve containment lines on these fires today. No estimate of containment is currently available.

Red Flag Warnings remain in effect through 9 p.m. tonight for lightning, primarily in areas east of Prineville. As the 4th of July holiday approaches, fire officials also want to remind everyone that possession or use of fireworks on Forest Service or BLM land is illegal.

FIRES ON OTHER LANDS
The lightning-caused Buckskin Fire (USFS) reported June 11 burning 10 miles SW of Cave Junction on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest is 5,345 acres and 60 percent contained. More info available at:  http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4286/
 
The lightning-caused Bunker Hill Fire (USFS) reported June 26 burning 30 miles SE of Oakridge, OR., is 150 acres and 0 percent contained. More info available at: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4328/http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4328/

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Sugarloaf Fire spreads to 5,500 acres in Central Oregon

Contact:  Media Desk:  541-416-6811          
Email address:  Centralorfireinfo@gmail.com
Twitter:  @CentralORfire                             
For more information visit: CentralORfireinfo.blogspot.com 

Central Oregon Fire EVENING Update

PRINEVILLE, Ore. – In the past 24 hours firefighters have responded to 21 new fires across Central Oregon, with that number expected to grow as new fires are found or are ignited by additional lightning.  Most fires remained small and currently are being mopped up or have been contained. 

The largest fire, and of greatest concern, is the 5,500-acre Sugarloaf Fire burning on BLM Prineville District lands, approximately 9 miles north of Dayville near Kimberly, Ore.  An outbuilding and a vehicle have been destroyed. The fire is burning in grass and shrub fuels. Other structures are threatened by the fire, and residents within the Dick Creek Road area were evacuated by the Grant County Sheriff’s Department.

Several air tankers, helicopters and crews were dispatched to the fire; however, air tankers were hampered by strong winds late in the afternoon. A Type 3 Team also was assigned to the fire in the afternoon. County resources and firefighters with Central Oregon Fire Management Services (COFMS) will continue to respond to the fire.

Another fire, near Mill Creek Wilderness on the Ochoco National Forest also caused concern early in the afternoon. Firefighters were able to get a handle on the fire and at this point have been able to keep the fire small.

The two largest fires at the beginning of today, the Bear Creek Fire and the Buck Fire, burned grass and shrub also on BLM Prineville District lands around Brothers, Ore. The Bear Creek Fire was approximately 75 acres and the Buck Fire was approximately 250 acres. Both fires were being held and mopped up by the end of the day.

Smoke columns from fires in the Paulina Lake area of Newberry National Volcanic Monument of the Deschutes National Forest were very visible during the day because they were burning heavy timber; however, they were easily contained and kept small.

With more lightning expected overnight combined with extremely dry fuels and gusting winds, fire official expect a need for continued fire response over the next several days.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Fire weather update - Friday afternoon, June 26, 2015

The previous weather forecast remains on track for this weekend, with most areas of the state approaching or exceeding 100 degrees Saturday. In addition, Red Flag Warnings are out for dry thunderstorms over much of south-central and southwestern Oregon, and parts of northwestern Oregon late today and tonight. Thunderstorms likely will be even more widespread Saturday afternoon and evening.

Thunderstorms are expected to continue into Sunday and spread over eastern Oregon. These storms are likely to produce more rain Sunday and may provide minor wildfire hazard relief. Cloud cover and an approaching upper level trough will lower temperatures somewhat into the low- to mid-90s on the west side of the Cascades. Most areas east of the Cascades will remain near 100 degrees.

On Monday, an upper level ridge should flatten some, with thunderstorms diminishing and confined to east of the Cascades. Thunderstorms are now forecast to diminish later next week as the upper level ridge flattens and keeps upper level winds more westerly than southerly. However, temperatures will remain hot through next week - in the 90 to 100 degree range.

See links below for the latest fire weather watches and warnings:

Regional Watches and Warnings map -   http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/

National Weather Service Fire Weather Home Pages:

Wildfire summary for week ending June 26, 2015

Wildfire activity on the 16 million acres of private and public lands protected by the Oregon Dept. of Forestry (ODF) was relatively light this past week. Fire managers are currently focused on fire weather conditions predicted to set up today and continue into the weekend.

The Northwest Interagency Coordination Center in Portland advises that "Lightning and atmospheric instability are expected to begin over sections of southern Oregon today and spread northward over the weekend. Fire danger indices have climbed high enough to warrant elevated risk of large fires due to the number of lightning strikes expected over the weekend. A number of sections of Oregon and Washington will be affected, so pay attention to local weather forecasts. Thunderstorms will become wet but the atmospheric instability plus the sheer number of new starts from lightning will challenge initial attack over the weekend. A number of new large fires are likely to result."

FIRES ON ODF-PROTECTED LANDS
No new fires 10 acres or larger were reported on ODF-protected lands this week.

FIRES ON OTHER LANDS
The Buckskin Fire reported June 11 burning 10 miles SW of Cave Junction on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest is 5,345 acres and 60 percent contained. More info available at:
http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4286/

The Little Basin Fire reported June 15 burning 10 Miles North of Imnaha in the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area is 630 acres and 97 percent contained. More info available at:
http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4290/

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Target shooters: Be extra careful during high wildfire danger

June 25, 2015

Contact:
Mike Cafferata
Forest Grove District Forester
503-359-7430, mike.j.cafferata@oregon.gov

Recent wildfires in northwestern Oregon have prompted a plea to recreational target shooters to be extra careful in the forest. In the past two weeks, three fires ignited by shooting burned 68 acres, cost $100,000 to put out, and caused considerable damage to private and public timberlands.

For the Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Mike Cafferata, the fires bring back bad memories of last year’s 36 Pit Fire, which was reported by news media as having been caused by target shooters firing into a rock pit. The fire burned 5,500 acres and cost millions of dollars to contain.

“Our fire danger is at record levels for this time of year,” the Forest Grove District Forester said. “These are conditions we normally see in August.”

The parched forest vegetation is primed to burn from any ignition source, whether a bullet-caused spark, untended campfire, discarded cigarette, or the hot exhaust system of a vehicle idling over dry grass.

Forest managers are reaching out to all forest users, including target shooters, to reduce human-caused fires during this period of extreme fire danger. One option is more public education to raise awareness of the potential for shooting-caused fires when forest fuels are so dry.

He said another approach being considered is tightening restrictions on shooting by either shutting the activity down at 1 p.m. or prohibiting it entirely until fire danger subsides.

“We would like to find a solution that supports landowner activities and the recreating public, while also maintaining forest resources and property,” he said.

In the near term, he asked the recreational shooting public be to particularly careful heading into the extreme heat of the weekend.  

Bullets are extremely hot on impact, he said, and fragments of bullets falling on vegetation were likely the cause of the recent fires in the district. 

To reduce the risk of fire, he advised target shooters only to shoot into a backstop of mineral soil, and to have the required fire extinguisher (or shovel and water) ready at hand. After shooting, be sure to check the target area for any signs of fire.

 

Fire Prevention: Klamath-Lake District & Walker Range implement wildland regulated use closure

Campfires, Smoking, Firewood Cutting, Off-road Vehicles Affected

Beginning Friday, June 26, 2015, at 12:01 AM, all private, county, and state wildlands protected by the Klamath-Lake District, Oregon Department of Forestry [ODF], including BLM lands west of HWY. 97 as well as those Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands west of the Gerber Reservoir Area in Klamath County, along with Walker Range Forest Patrol Association will be placed under a PUBLIC REGULATED USE CLOSURE. 

With the progression of summer conditions and continued drying of forest fuels, local fire danger levels have reached “HIGH." 

Fires starting in these conditions have the potential for rapid fire spread and major damage. The Regulated Use Restrictions being placed in effect by fire officials will dramatically reduce the chance of an accidental fire start.

Under the Public Regulated Use Closure:
Smoking in wildland areas is permitted only in enclosed vehicles on roads.
Camping, cooking or warming fires will be prohibited, except in the following designated locations:
KLAMATH COUNTY: Topsy Campground (BLM), Surveyor Campground (BLM), Collier State Park, Kimball State Park, Hagel­stein Park (county) and posted sites in the Klamath River Canyon.
LAKE COUNTY: Gooselake State Park.
Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are permitted at all other locations.
Off road driving and motorized vehicles on un-improved roads is prohibited.

Use of fireworks is prohibited.

"Fireworks" means any combustible or explosive device or any other article which was prepared for the purpose of providing a visible or audible effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration or detonation, including firecrackers, fountains, skyrockets, snakes and sparklers.
P   Possession of a full size axe, shovel and a 2 ½ lb. fire extinguisher or filled gallon water container is required while traveling in a motorized vehicle, except on state and county roads.
Debris Burning, which was banned June 5th in Klamath and Lake Counties when Klamath-Lake District of the Oregon Department of Forestry and Walker Range Patrol Association declared fire season, remains in effect.

In addition, the following activities will be prohibited between the hours of 1:00 to 8:00 PM:
Non-Industrial Chain saw use.
 Cutting, grinding and welding of metal on forested lands.

The above regulations expand those already in effect in the Klamath River Canyon since June 5thThe “Fire Season in effect” declaration on June 5th put into place regulations restricting debris burning and timber harvest operations.  Wildland and structural fire protection agencies in Klamath County have agreed to prohibit all outdoor debris burning.  

Forest operations that require a Permit to operate power driven machinery now are required to have fire tools, on-site water supply, and watchman service on privately owned forest land.   Declaring the “Fire Season” also prohibits the release of sky lanterns, the discharge of exploding targets or the discharge of tracer ammunition during this period.

Klamath-Lake District Web Page: [http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/pages/field/kl/aboutklamathlake.aspx]

Southwest Oregon District of the Oregon Department of Forestry protected lands in Jackson and Josephine counties. Contact 541-684-3328 for current SWO information.
Fremont – Winema National Forests and Lakeview District BLM - contact 541-883-6715 or 541-947-2151.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Fire danger on the rise

High temperatures and threat of lightning forecasted

June 24, 2015

Contact: Tom Fields
Oregon Department of Forestry
(503) 945-7440 or (503) 983-8897

Fire managers throughout Oregon are feeling the heat. Continued hot, dry weather is plaguing the region that could lead to a significant fire from a single spark.

“I’m sure everyone is aware of the heat wave that is predicted over the next several days,” says Oregon Department of Forestry Fire Prevention Coordinator Tom Fields. “While we’re all looking for ways to stay cool, now is not the time to be careless with activities that could lead to a wildfire.”

Fire season is now in effect throughout Oregon and much of the state is experiencing fire danger conditions normally seen in late July and August. ODF Meteorologists are predicting record warm weather across Oregon later this week, with afternoon temperatures climbing into the 95-105 °F range by Friday and continuing through the weekend.  In addition, southerly flow aloft will bring an increasing risk of dry thunderstorms, on both sides of the Cascades, beginning in southern Oregon on Friday and spreading north across the state this weekend.  With forests already at mid-August dryness levels, the impending hot spell and dry lightning poses a significant fire weather threat. While wildland fire agencies gear up for natural-caused wildfires, the last thing anyone wants is careless human-caused fires.

“The conditions are driving the story. So far, we’re seeing above normal numbers of human-caused fires.” Fields says even activities not normally linked to fire starts are causing concern. “We have had three fires related to target shooting just in the last week. One of those fires burned 67 acres and cost over $80,000 to put out. These fires, and the fact that we have already had 80-plus human-caused fires above the average for this time of year is an indication that we need everyone to think twice before conducting any spark emitting activity.”

So far in 2015 the Oregon Department of Forestry has suppressed 301 fires in 2015, 227 of which were started by people. The two leading causes are debris burning and campfires. Many parts of the state have imposed public fire restrictions on outdoor debris burning, campfires, off road driving, fireworks, the use of tracer ammunition and exploding targets to name a few. Log on to www.oregon.gov/odf for fire restrictions in your area or call your local Oregon Department of Forestry office or fire department.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Fire Danger Increases

The Douglas Forest Protective Association will increase the fire danger to “high” for the entire Douglas District effective Wednesday, June 24th.  The change in fire danger is a result of dry forest fuels and the projected hot, dry weather.

Fire officials are also reminding everyone that both public and industrial fire restrictions are increasing over the next couple days.  

On June 24th, public use restrictions, known as a Regulated Use Closure, goes into effect for all DFPA protected land.  On June 25th, DFPA will move into Industrial Fire Precaution Level II (IFPL 2) for zones DG-1, DG-2, UA-1, and UA-2.

For more information about public or industrial fire restrictions, visit www.dfpa.net or call DFPA’s 24 hour fire information line at 541-672-0379.  For all other business, contact DFPA at 541-672-6507.


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Industrial Fire Restrictions Increase

Increased fire danger on forestlands protected by the Douglas Forest Protective Association and Umpqua National Forest has made it necessary to increase the fire prevention measures on industrial operations. 

Industrial Fire Precaution Level II (two) takes effect at 12:01 am, Thursday, June 25, on all private, county, state, and federal lands protected by DFPA and the Umpqua National Forest.

IFPL II, or “partial hootowl”, prohibits blasting, welding, and cable yarding from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  The use of power saws is also prohibited between these hours, except at loading sites.  A fire watch of two hours is also required when work has completed for the day. 

To stay current on wildland restrictions for the public and industry, call DFPA’s closure information line at 672-0379 or visit its web site at www.dfpa.net


For fire information pertaining to the Umpqua National Forest, call (541) 672-6601, and for IFPL information on the national forest call (541) 957-3325 or visit www.fs.usda.gov/umpqua.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Douglas to tighten fire restrictions June 24

Due to the heightened fire danger, the Douglas Forest Protective Association (DFPA) will impose public use restrictions, also known as a “Regulated-Use Closure,” effective 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, June 24. The Regulated-Use Closure will be in effect for all private, county, state and Bureau of Land Management lands protected by DFPA. The Industrial Fire Precaution level (IFPL) will remain at IFPL 1.

While the Regulated-Use Closure doesn’t prohibit public access to the forest, it does restrict certain fire-prone activities. The following provisions are set to help prevent wildfires:

Smoking is prohibited while traveling through wildland areas, except in enclosed vehicles on improved roads.
 
Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires, and warming fires, except at designated campgrounds.  Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed.  DFPA-designated campgrounds include:

·         BLM campgrounds: Cavitt Creek, Eagle View, Lone Pine, Millpond, Rock Creek, Susan Creek and Tyee.

·         Douglas County Parks Campgrounds: Amacher Park, Douglas County Fairgrounds, Pass Creek, Stanton Park, Chief Miwaleta and Whistler’s Bend.
Chainsaw use is prohibited between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. in areas subject to Industrial Fire Precaution Levels 1 and 2.  Chainsaw use is permitted at all other hours if the following firefighting equipment is present with each operating saw: one shovel and one operational 8 ounce or larger fire extinguisher. In addition, a fire watch is required for at least one hour following the use of each saw.
Chainsaw use is prohibited in areas subject to Industrial Fire Precaution Levels 3 and 4.
The use of motor vehicles, including motorcycles and ATV’s, are prohibited, except on improved roads or for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.
 
Possession of the following firefighting equipment is required while traveling in a motorized vehicle, except on federal and state highways, county roads, and driveways: one shovel and one gallon of water or one fully charged and operational 2.5 pound or larger ABC fire extinguisher. ATV’s and motorcycles must be equipped with one operational 2.5 pound or larger ABC type fire extinguisher.
 
The use of fireworks is prohibited.
The cutting, grinding and welding of metal in wildland areas is prohibited between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m. Cutting, grinding and welding of metal is permitted at all other hours, if conducted in a cleared area and with a water supply present.
The mowing of dried and cured grass with power driven equipment is prohibited, between the hours of 12 p.m. and 8 p.m., except for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.
Any electric fence controller in use shall be: 1) Listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory or be certified by the Department of Consumer and Business Services; and 2) operated in compliance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
In addition, the following activities are prohibited under ORS 477.512 during a declared fire season:
  • The use of exploding targets  
  • The use of sky lanterns
  • The use of tracer ammunition or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base.

In addition to DFPA’s Regulated-Use Closures, private industrial landowners have the ability to add additional restrictions or complete closures to their land holdings throughout the summer due to the fire danger. Recreational forest users are advised to check with the landowners for the locations they plan to recreate on, before they head to the woods.


As of June 19, DFPA has suppressed 43 fires which have burned 248 acres. The number of fires and acres burned are up from the current 10-year average (January 1 – June 19), which is 14 fires burning 47 acres.

For more information about public or industrial fire restrictions on DFPA protected land, call the 24-hr fire information line at 541-672-0379 or visit www.dfpa.net

News contact: 

Kyle Reed
Fire Prevention Specialist
Douglas Forest Protective Association
Office: (541) 672-6507 ext. 136

Oregon Dept. of Forestry Wildfire Summary, week ending June 19, 2015

Though forest conditions are extremely dry across the state, wildfire activity on the 16 million acres of private and public lands protected by the Oregon Dept. of Forestry has been relatively moderate. Considerable credit goes to the Oregon public for exercising fire safety awareness in the forest. Nature has contributed, too, with lightning occurring during the week but not burning large acreage.

FIRES ON ODF-PROTECTED LANDS
Sunset Grade Fire - The 67-acre fire, reported June 13, burned on the Tillamook State Forest. ODF, assisted by the Forest Grove and Banks Fire departments, contained the fire the next morning. Cause is under investigation.

Powder House Canyon Fire - The 33-acre fire was reported June 15 burning in the Central Oregon District - John Day Unit. ODF resources currently at the fire include: two fire engines, two hand crews, one water tender, and one bulldozer on standby. The fire is 90 percent contained and in mop-up. Cause is under investigation.

FIRES ON OTHER LANDS
Buckskin Fire - This 2,635-acre fire reported June 11 is burning 10 miles SW of Cave Junction in southwestern Oregon on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, in an area previously burned in the 2002 Biscuit Fire. The fire is currently six percent contained. The cause is lightning. More information is available at:
http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4286/

Little Basin Fire - This 630-acre fire reported June 15 is burning 10 miles north of Imnaha in the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. The fire is currently 85 percent contained. Cause is under investigation. More information is available at:
http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4290/
.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Fire restrictions tighten June 19 in NW Oregon - includes Tillamook, Clatsop State Forests

June 17, 2015

Contact:
Mike Cafferata
Oregon Dept. of Forestry
503-359-7430
Mike.j.cafferata@oregon.gov

The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) will tighten fire prevention rules starting June 19 in northwestern Oregon, including the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests, and private lands in the Northwest Oregon Forest Protective Association.

“In order to keep communities safe and avoid wildfire risk, we’ll begin restrictions on public use of the forest on Friday. These restrictions ban fireworks, exploding targets, campfires outside of designated locations, and other fire-prone activities,” said Mike Cafferata, ODF District Forester. “These restrictions respond to the extremely dry conditions we’re experiencing and to the Sunset Grade Fire, which we believe was started by one of these activities last weekend.”

The following restrictions on activities in the forest will apply starting June 19:

  • Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in closed vehicles on improved roads.
  • Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except at designated locations. Use of wood-burning devices, used in conjunction with temporary dwellings, including tents and trailers, is prohibited. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed.
  • Use of motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, is prohibited, except on improved roads and designated areas.
  • Possession of the following firefighting equipment is required while traveling, except on state highways, county roads and driveways: one shovel and one gallon of water or one operational 2-½ pound or larger fire extinguisher.
  • Use of fireworks is prohibited.
  • Cutting, grinding and welding of metal is prohibited.


In addition, the following items are banned throughout the wildfire season as well as during the current period of tightened safety restrictions: Use of exploding targets, tracer ammunition and sky lanterns is prohibited.

Contact the Tillamook, Astoria or Forest Grove district offices for more information about the fire prevention rules. Contact information available at: www.oregon.gov/ODF/pages/offices.aspx

ODF increases fire prevention restrictions in Central Oregon District

June 17, 2015

Contact: George Ponte, 541-460-3025 (cell)                                                                      

Increasing wildfire danger has prompted the Oregon Department of Forestry to tighten public fire prevention restrictions in its Central Oregon District. Beginning at 12:01 a.m. Friday, June 19, these restrictions will be in force on private and non-federal public forestlands in 12 counties including Harney, Morrow, Grant, Wheeler, Gilliam,  Hood River, Wasco, Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson, along with small portions of Umatilla and Lake counties. 

District Forester George Ponte said very dry vegetation due to the ongoing drought and warm weather is resulting in quickly rising fire danger levels.

“We are at a point where new wildfires are growing quickly and becoming more difficult and expensive to control,” he said. “These restrictions are intended to eliminate human-caused fires as we will soon be busy enough with lightning-caused fires.”

The following activities are restricted or prohibited:

  • Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads.

  • Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except in designated areas. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed. Open fires are allowed if conducted in compliance with a valid Burning Permit issued pursuant to ORS 477.515.
 
  • Chainsaw use is prohibited between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. Chainsaw use is permitted at all other hours, if the following firefighting equipment is present with each operating saw: one ax, one shovel, and one 8-ounce or larger fire extinguisher. In addition, a fire watch is required for at least one hour following the use of each saw.

  • Cutting, grinding and welding of metal is prohibited between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.  At all other times the area is to be cleared of flammable vegetation and the following fire equipment is required: one ax, one shovel, and one 2-½ pound or larger fire extinguisher in good working order. 

  • Use of motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, is prohibited, except on improved roads and except for vehicle use by a landowner and employees of the landowner on their own land while conducting activities associated with their livelihood.

  • Possession of the following firefighting equipment is required while traveling in a motorized vehicle, except on federal and state highways, county roads and driveways: one shovel and one gallon of water or one 2-½ pound or larger fire extinguisher, except all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles, which must be equipped with an approved spark arrestor in good working condition.

  • Mowing of dried grass with power-driven equipment is prohibited between the hours of 10a.m. and 8 p.m., except for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.

  • Use of fireworks is prohibited.
 
  • Blasting is prohibited.

·     Any electric fence controller in use shall be: 1) listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory or certified by the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services; and 2) operated in compliance with manufacturer’s instructions.

Reminder: The following activities are banned anytime during wildfire season, including during the current period of tightened public-use restrictions:

  • The release of sky lanterns is prohibited.
  • The discharging of exploding targets or tracer ammunition is prohibited. 

“Landowners and forest operators, and the general public need to be extremely cautious,” Ponte said. “Under the right conditions a spark, campfire or carelessly tossed cigarette could result in a large, destructive and costly wildfire that puts firefighters and the public at risk. People should also know that all new fires starts are thoroughly investigated to determine the cause of the fire. If investigators determine who is responsible, that person or persons could be held liable for the firefighting costs which can be in the millions of dollars.”

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.




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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.