Current situation

Fire season on ODF-protected land has officially ended in all of Oregon as cooler temperatures and moister conditions settle over much of the state. This late in the fall, a key source of ignitions is fire escaping when piles of woody debris are burned. Care is required with that activity at any time of year.
































Tuesday, October 18, 2016

2016 Fire Season ends

Oct. 14, 2016                         

Contact: Tom Fields, 503-945-7440, tom.fields@oregon.gov

The end of the 2016 fire season caps off a successful summer following three tumultuous seasons. The Oregon Department of Forestry, which protects roughly 16 million acres of private, state and federal lands, officially ended fire season today (Friday, Oct. 14, 2016), with the Central Oregon District being the last to lift restrictions.

ODF and its fire protective association partners suppressed 807 fires in 2016 that burned 5,554 acres and cost about $17.4 million. In comparison, the volatile fire seasons from 2013-2015 accounted for an annual average of 81,467 acres and about $88 million in fire suppression costs.

"Overall, we are pleased with the outcome of the 2016 fire season," said ODF Fire Protection Deputy Chief Ron Graham. "Thanks to aggressive and safe firefighting, we were able to keep several fires with great potential small in scale while keeping firefighter injuries to a minimum. We are thankful for our partners within Oregon's complete and coordinated fire protection system, including forest landowners, rural fire districts, and federal and state partners that played key roles throughout the fire season."

While acres burned were significantly less than normal, the number of human-caused fires was well above average. ODF's fire statistics show that more than 90 percent of the ignitions in 2016 resulted from people, up nearly 25 percent from the average. Graham said there is still a lot of work to be done through prevention.

"Fire prevention remains our top priority," he said. "Human-caused fires, especially debris burning and illegal, abandoned campfires continue to raise concern. We are constantly looking for new ways to raise awareness to reduce these unnecessary and careless fires."

The end of fire season does not mean the end of fire prevention. The public is urged to continue to practice vigilance with any activity associated with fire. When burning yard debris, do so during daylight hours under calm conditions. Scrape a fire trail down to mineral soil completely around burn piles. Keep piles small and manageable, feeding the fire periodically from larger piles. Monitor the burn carefully and keep a shovel and charged garden hose at the ready.

Just like a campfire, never leave the burn pile unattended and put the fire completely out before leaving. Revisit the burn site regularly over several weeks to make sure the fire has not rekindled.

Burn piles, especially tightly compacted piles, can hold heat and smolder for many weeks, rekindling when the temperature goes up and the wind blows. Residents should contact their local fire department before conducting any burning as restrictions vary among local fire districts.

Fire season is declared and terminated on a district-by-district basis based on fire danger conditions. Walker Range Fire Patrol, which provides protection for ODF near Crescent, was the first to declare fire season on June 1.

Below is a list of ODF Fire Protection Districts and their fire season start and end dates:

- Walker Range Fire Patrol Association, June 1-Oct. 13
- Central Oregon District, June 3-Oct. 14
- Klamath-Lake District, June 3-Oct. 13
- Southwest Oregon District, June 3-Oct. 13
- Douglas Forest Protective Association, June 8-Oct. 5
- Coos Forest Protective Association, June 24-Oct. 6
- Northeast Oregon District, June 28-Oct. 13
- South Cascade District, June 28-Oct. 5
- Western Lane District, June 28-Oct. 6
- North Cascade District, June 30-Oct. 1
- West Oregon District, July 5-Oct. 4
- Northwest Oregon District, July 30-Oct. 4
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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Fall precipitation ends fire season for lands protected by Northeast Oregon District

Department of Forestry - Northeast Oregon District

October 12, 2016


Contact: Jamie Knight, 541-786-2039
 As of Oct. 13, 2016, the Oregon Department of Forestry has terminated fire season for forestlands protected by the Northeast Oregon District. This includes private, state, county, municipal and tribal lands protected by ODF. The Northeast Oregon District includes lands in the following counties: Union, Baker, Umatilla, Wallowa and small portions of Grant, Morrow and Malheur counties.

The forecast is calling for a turn towards wetter and cooler fall weather. Mitch Williams, Wildland Fire Supervisor in La Grande Unit ,reminds people to exercise caution:

"It’s important to remember that a warmer or windy day can dry fine fuels out quickly. Folks burning slash or debris piles should remember that conditions can become unfavorable fairly quick this time of year. If we have periods of warming and drying later in the fall, it’s essential for landowners to go out and check slash piles that were burned for remaining heat that could cause a problem. It’s not uncommon for us to be fighting escaped slash fires in late October and November."

With the termination of fire season, requirements for providing firefighting equipment at logging sites or obtaining a burn permit from ODF are no longer in effect. Terminating fire season does not relieve landowners or forest operators of lawful responsibilities concerning the safe burning of debris or slash.

Specific Smoke Management/Burning Advisory Information:

If you are under the protection of a rural or city fire department, please call and ask what their burning restrictions are. Burn permits for burn barrels or small amounts of yard debris are not required on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry. In addition, burning within the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation requires a permit from CTUIR. Follow all requirements within the permit.

Burning slash from forestry and logging activities requires a Notification of Operation/PDM from ODF. In addition to this permit, the local ODF office must be contacted prior to ignition. Before burning in northeast Oregon, it is important to check weather conditions relative to smoke management. For smoke management forecasts call 541-963-9781 or visit the following website:

www.odf.state.or.us/DIVISIONS/protection/fire_protection/Daily/neo.htm.

Slash burns must be registered with the local ODF office at least seven days prior to burning and burning accomplishments after seven days.

The Northeast Oregon District of the Oregon Department of Forestry would like to thank all of our landowners, forest operators and the public for their efforts in fire prevention, detection and suppression activities this season. In 2016, the district had 38 fires that burned a total of 871 acres; this is well below the 10-year average of 7,500 +/- acres. Fourteen of the fires were lightning caused; the lowest number since 1960 for the Northeast Oregon District.

For further information, call your local ODF office:

La Grande Unit 541-963-3168

Baker City Sub-Unit 541-523-5831

Wallowa Unit 541-886-2881

Pendleton Unit 541-276-3491

To report a fire, call the Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch Center at 541-963-7171, or dial 9-1-1.

http://bluemountainfireinfo.blogspot.com/ is your spot for current fire information in the Blue Mountains.


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Reservoir Fire burning west of Lakeview

The 10-acre Reservoir Fire was reported burning early Thursday afternoon west of Lakeview at Lower Cottonwood Reservoir in the Lake Unit of the Klamath-Lake District. Resources at the fire include: two air tankers, one helicopter, six fire engines, two bulldozers, two hand crews and a water tender. Firefighters have completed dozer line around the perimeter. High winds are expected this evening. Cause is under investigation.

NW Oregon to lift regulated-use closure Friday

The Oregon Department of Forestry announced today that the current Regulated-Use Closure in the Northwest Oregon Forest Protection District will be lifted Friday, Sept. 30.

This area includes all state, private and federal Bureau of Land Management forest lands in the Tillamook, Forest Grove and Astoria districts of ODF.

When Regulated Use is officially terminated, the public no longer must observe fire restrictions on smoking, campfires, chainsaws and motorized vehicles. However, everyone still needs to think about fire prevention all year-round. For example, do not discard burning materials, such as cigarettes, and always ensure campfires are cold before leaving.

Fire Season is still in effect
Meanwhile, forest operators must have required fire equipment at the sites of their operation, and are reminded to inspect their fire equipment to ensure it is ready and can pass inspection. Forest operators must also provide fire watch on each operation after equipment is shut down at the end of operations each day. Operators can refer to the Fire Watch Waiver in effect for IFPL fire watch requirements. Fire season rules also prohibit smoking while in or traveling through any "operation area," and prohibit the use of fuse and caps for blasting on forest land. Zones NW-1, NW-2, and NW-3 IFPL levels and changes may be obtained by calling your local ODF office or online, http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx.

For the general public, burning permits are required for open pile burning and burn barrels. Residents who live within a city fire department district or rural fire protection district will need to contact their local fire officials for burning and burn permit requirements.

Fire can be a hazard at any time of year if steps are not taken to use it safely. Whenever you use fire, whether for debris burning or enjoying a campfire, follow these steps to prevent your fire from turning into the next wildfire.
  • Never leave your fire unattended.
  • When burning debris, always have a hose and shovel at the fire to prevent the fire from spreading.
  • Check with your local fire protection agency prior to burning. (Most Rural Fire Protection Districts require a burn permit year round.)
  • If camping, ensure your campfire is in a designated area.
  • Always make sure your campfire is out cold before leaving.
  • On the beach, keep your campfire far from beach grass and drift wood piles.
Once the proclamation is processed early Friday morning, you can find it and other restrictions and closures information on the ODF website, at the link above. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Short Lake Fire burns in Klamath-Lake District Sept. 26

The eight-acre Short Lake Fire was reported burning in the Klamath Unit of the Klamath-Lake District Monday afternoon. Air tankers, a helicopter, a bulldozer, three fire engines and a water tender were assigned to the blaze burning in grass, sagebrush and juniper fuels. Crews fought the fire through the night and it is currently in mop-up. Oregon Dept. of Forestry and Bureau of Land Management are partnering on the suppression effort. Cause is under investigation.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Prescribed burns start soon in Douglas County

Contact: Kyle Reed                                                                        
541-672-6507 x 136, kyle.reed@oregon.gov

Smoke will soon be seen throughout Douglas County as the Douglas Forest Protective Association works with farmers, ranchers and other landowners to complete prescribed burns throughout the Umpqua Valley. Prescribed burns may be conducted on fields, pastures and hillsides to promote productive grazing lands for livestock and to improve habitat for wildlife. The main objective of the prescribed burns is to remove noxious weeds, brush, insects and plant disease from the proposed burn sites. Permits for backyard debris burning, including both debris piles and burn barrels, will not be issued at this time.

Historically, DFPA and local landowner’s have completed about 10,000 acres of prescribed burns annually throughout Douglas County to improve habitat and pasture lands. Prescribed burns are also beneficial to firefighters by reducing the buildup of brush and other flammable vegetation throughout the area. Fire officials note that many wildfires have been suppressed in open grass fields and hillsides where prescribed burning has taken place periodically over the years.

Prescribed burns are made safe by the construction of fire trails around the proposed burn site before fire is introduced onto the landscape. In addition, landowners must be able to show that they have the ability and resources in the form of fire suppression equipment and personnel on site to maintain control of the prescribed burn. Once fire trails are approved by DFPA and weather conditions are favorable, a permit may be issued to complete the prescribed burn.

Fire officials say that the effects from the prescribed burns on populated areas will be minimized by allowing the burns to take place only when both fire conditions and weather patterns are favorable to keep smoke out of large populated areas. 

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Regulated-Use lifted in NE Oregon District but fire season still in effect

September 22, 2016

Contact: Jamie Knight, 541-786-2039
 
 On September 23, the Oregon Department of Forestry will terminate the Regulated-Use Closure for forestlands protected by the Northeast Oregon District. Due to the change in weather, the closure and the associated fire prevention restrictions are no longer necessary. Campfires are now allowed with landowner permission.

Joseph Goebel, Wallowa Wildland Fire Supervisor, cautions, "While we are trending towards cooler fall weather, the conditions can change rapidly. Parts of the region have gotten some moisture and while that has helped, there is still a danger of fire spreading. Make sure you’re cautious with campfires and debris burning and ensure they are dead out before leaving them unattended."

While fire restrictions have eased, Fire Season remains in effect for private, state, county, municipal and tribal lands protected by ODF. Burn permits are required for all open fires (except campfires), debris burns and burn barrels. ODF will still need to issue a burn permit for any open burns or burn barrels within the protection district until weather conditions warrant an end to fire season.

The Northeast Oregon District includes lands in the following counties: Union, Baker, Umatilla, Wallowa and small portions of Grant, Morrow and Malheur counties.

To obtain a burn permit from ODF, call the local ODF office:
  • La Grande Unit 541-963-3168
  • Baker City Sub-Unit 541-523-5831
  • Wallowa Unit 541-886-2881
  • Pendleton Unit 541-276-3491

Fire restrictions may differ on lands protected by rural fire departments or lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management. Check local regulations before burning. More information on fire restrictions can be found on the Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch Center website, www.bmidc.org.

To report a fire, call the Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch Center at 541-963-7171, or dial 9-1-1.

http://bluemountainfireinfo.blogspot.com/ is the spot for current fire information in the Blue Mountains.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Fire danger level drops to high tomorrow in SW Oregon

Oregon Department of Forestry
Southwest Oregon District

Contact: Melissa Cano, 541-613-6313 or 541-664-3328

Cooler temperatures and higher humidity across southwestern Oregon have made it possible to ease off some of the fire prevention regulations. However, warm and dry weather is expected to return to the region by the weekend.

The fire danger level on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected lands in Jackson and Josephine counties will be lowered to "high" (yellow) tomorrow, September 22, 2016, at 12 a.m. The Industrial Fire Precaution Level will remain at 2.

These regulations affect 1.8 million acres of state, private, county, city and Bureau of Land Management lands protected by ODF’s Southwest Oregon District.

Restrictions on the public use of chainsaws, brush cutters and other power-driven or spark-emitting machinery are being slightly relaxed, allowing the use of equipment until 10 a.m. and after 8 p.m. Today will be the last day power-driven and/or spark-emitting machinery is completely prohibited.

Other fire prevention regulations that will remain in effect include:

· No debris burning, including piles and debris burned in burn barrels

· No fireworks use on forestlands

· Exploding targets and tracer ammunition, or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base, are prohibited

· Sky lanterns may not be used in wildland and forestland areas

· Campfires allowed only in designated campgrounds. Portable stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels may be used in other locations

· Motorized vehicles are allowed only on improved roads

· Chainsaws may be used until 10 a.m. and after 8 p.m. Chainsaw users must have an ax, a shovel and an 8-oz. or larger fire extinguisher at the job site, and a fire watch is required for one hour after the saw is shut down

· Mowing of dead or dry grass with power-driven equipment is allowed until 10 a.m., and may resume after 8 p.m. This restriction does not apply to mowing green lawns, or to equipment used for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops

· The cutting, grinding or welding of metal is allowed until 10 a.m. and after 8 p.m. These activities may only take place at a site cleared of potentially flammable vegetation and other materials, and with a water supply at the job site

· Any other spark-emitting internal combustion engine not specifically mentioned is permitted during high fire danger before 10 a.m. and after 8 p.m. as long as it is used in a cleared area and has a charged garden hose or one 2-½ lb. or larger fire extinguisher immediately available

· Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in enclosed vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water, and other designated locations

· Electric fence controllers must be approved by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, or be certified by the Department of Consumer and Business Services, and be installed and used in compliance with the fence controller’s instructions for fire safe operation

For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry’s public regulated use regulations, or Industrial Fire Precaution Levels, please call or visit the Southwest Oregon District unit office nearest to you:

· Medford Unit, 5286 Table Rock Rd., Central Point. (541) 664-3328

· Grants Pass Unit, 5375 Monument Dr., Grants Pass. (541) 474-3152

Fire season information is also available online at www.swofire.com.

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Fire danger reducing and restrictions lifted in SC Oregon

September 20, 2016
Media Contact: Tamara Schmidt
541-947-6243

LAKEVIEW, Ore. – As of this morning, the fire danger had been reduced from extreme to high, the Industrial Fire Precaution Level was reduced to 2 on lands under the South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership and Public Use Restrictions were lifted in several areas.
The IFPL affects lands administered by the Fremont-Winema National Forest, the Bureau of Land Management Lakeview District and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Sheldon-Hart Mountain and Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complexes. The Public Use Restrictions are also lifted on these public lands.
The only Lakeview District BLM lands not included in this are those within the Klamath Falls Resource Area west of Langell Valley. This area is under the protection of the Oregon Department of Forestry, which remains under regulated use. For information on specific restrictions in areas under ODF’s fire protection, please visit http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx.

Crater Lake National Park remains under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions, prohibiting campfires in the backcountry and restricting campfires and smoking to designated areas. For more information, please visit www.nps.gov/crla and select “Alerts.”

Personal and commercial woodcutters are allowed to resume operations in accordance with their permit and current IFPL levels. Woodcutters are reminded of their responsibility to stay informed of current IFPLs and all restrictions that apply to activities conducted on public lands. Failure to comply with the fire precautionary requirements may result in a violation notice.

“While the Public Use Restrictions are lifted and the fire danger is decreasing, conditions are still dry,” said Interagency Fire Staff Officer Barry Shullanberger.  “As people go out to enjoy their public lands – whether it’s cutting firewood, hunting, camping or just enjoying the warm weather – we ask that they be careful with anything that can throw a spark and to make sure campfires are completely out and cold to the touch before leaving.”

Visitors should also be aware of their surroundings and prepared for changing weather conditions as the seasons change. This includes reporting visible smoke that could be from a wildfire.

For more information on SCOFMP, please visit www.scofmp.org, on Twitter @scofmpfireinfo or on Facebook at http://facebook.com/scofmpfireinfo.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Fire danger lowered to HIGH in Klamath-Lake District

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Contact: Randall Baley
541-883-5681


Klamath Falls - The Oregon Department of Forestry has decreased the fire danger level from Extreme to High in the Klamath-Lake District, effective Sept. 20. However, the district remains in fire season, which means the regulations restricting debris burning and timber harvest operations remain in effect.

“With the forecasted weather for the upcoming weekend and week, we will stay in Closed Fire Season and Public Regulated Use Closure restrictions. The public has done an awesome job this season being considerate of the landowners that have allowed the usage of their properties and by following the regulations that were in effect,” said Randall Baley, Unit Forester.

The best protection measures are always preventative measures. Residents and visitors to Klamath and Lake Counties have been very responsible in their use of Fire Safe Practices, he said. 
 
"Let's continue to not let our guard down. Be sure to follow any restrictions put in place and other general fire prevention measures to decrease the chance of or the spread of a wildfire."

Friday, September 16, 2016

Highway 138 West Fire update Thursday evening

Contact: 
Kyle Reed
Douglas Forest Protective Association
541-672-6507 x 136              
Mobile 541-817-7186             
kyle.reed@oregon.gov  

Fire crews working on the Highway 138 West Fire in Douglas County made good progress Thursday in their efforts to fully extinguish the blaze. In total, 98 firefighters, four fire engines, two water tenders, a bulldozer and an excavator worked together to extinguish the burned vegetation that is still smoldering inside the fire area. Crews spent a significant amount of time in the northern portion of the fire where the heaviest concentrations of smoke and heat remain.

On Thursday evening 46 firefighters were aided by two fire engines and a water tender as night-shift crews continued to mop up hot spots inside the fire perimeter. In addition, two handheld infrared cameras were employed around the fire to help firefighters locate smoldering material burning below the surface. 

Safety for the public and firefighters remains the No. 1 priority on the Highway 138 West Fire. Residents driving through the fire area are asked to watch for fire personnel and equipment working near or entering the highway.

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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Highway 138 West Fire Update

Fire crews working on the Highway 138 West Fire made good progress today in their efforts to fully extinguish the blaze.  In total, 98 firefighters, four engines, two tenders, a bull dozer and an excavator worked together to extinguish the burned vegetation that is still smoldering inside the fire area.  Crews spent a significant amount of time in the northern portion of the fire where the heaviest concentrations of smoke and heat remain.

Tonight, 46 firefighters will be aided by two engines and a water tender as nightshift crews continue to mop up hot spots inside the fire.  In addition, two handheld infrared cameras will be used around the fire to help firefighters locate smoldering material burning below the surface. 


Safety for the public and firefighters remains the number one priority on the Highway 138 West Fire.  Residents driving through the fire are asked to watch for fire personnel and equipment working near or entering the highway.

Daily Fire Update for Thursday, September 15, 2016

ROCKY ROAD FIRE
The Rocky Road Fire off Highway 227 in Trail burned just over 15 acres and temporarily threatened ten homes Wednesday afternoon. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Fire crews from Oregon Department of Forestry's Southwest Oregon District were assisted by the Rogue Valley Wildland Task Force 2 in the suppression effort and structural protection. The task force is made up of firefighters and equipment from seven different rural fire departments in Jackson County.

All road closures have been lifted, but the public is being asked to exercise caution when traveling through the area. 

UPDATE ON OTHER FIRES

HIGHWAY 138 WEST FIRE
Location: Six miles east of Elkton. 
Firefighters continue mopping up hot spots to prevent future flare-ups and spread. The final size of the fire is 62 acres. Cooler conditions and fog overnight benefited mop-up efforts, but some areas are still showing heavy concentrations of heat. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

FIRE SEASON REMAINS IN EFFECT:
The Oregon Department of Forestry would like to remind everyone that fire season remains in effect with conditions remaining dry and susceptible to fire starts. Backyard debris burning and dispersed campfires remain prohibited throughout much of the state. Check with your local ODF office for restrictions in your area or log onto ODF's fire restrictions web page for more information.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Rocky Road Fire Burns 15 Acres in Southern Oregon

At approximately 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, the Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest Oregon District responded to a grass fire burning near a home on Highway 227 and Rocky Road in Trail. The Rocky Road Fire was burning at a moderate rate of speed upslope in grass, brush and timber. Within two hours, crews were able to slow down the fire's spread and get a fire line around 80 percent of the perimeter. 


Tonight, the fire size is estimated at 15.2 acres and is 35 percent contained.
There was an initial threat to nearby homes along Rocky Road; however, with the help of the Rogue Valley Wildland Task Force 2 consisting ofIllinois Valley Fire DistrictJackson County Fire District 3Jackson County Fire District #5 IAFF Local 2596Jackson County Fire District 4Medford Fire-Rescue and Ashland Fire & Rescue, all structures were protected.

No public or firefighter injuries have been reported.
Crews will continue to work tonight constructing additional hand line, as well as strengthening fire line currently in place. Firefighters will also be monitoring for spot fires throughout the evening and tomorrow morning. Ground crews were able to quickly stop several spot fires this afternoon at 1/10th and 1/100th of an acre. Air attack was integral in stopping the fire's growth.
All road closures have been lifted, but please be cautious of increased fire traffic along Highway 227.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Fire management officials ask that the public continue to use caution and adhere to regulations. Current fire restrictions for lands in Jackson and Josephine Counties protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest Oregon District can be found at www.swofire.com.

Highway 138 West Fire burns 60 acres in Douglas County

Update Sept. 14, 2016
 
Contact: 
Kyle Reed
Douglas Forest Protective Association
541-672-6507 x136              
kyle.reed@oregon.gov

Firefighters were able to keep the Highway 138 West fire in check overnight and improved control lines around the immediate edge of the fire. No additional spread was reported, and the fire is still estimated at 60 acres.

Today, 110 firefighters will work to continue mopping up hot spots, starting on the edge of the fire and working into the center, with the goal of extinguishing all burning or smoldering materials within the perimeter.  Mopping up the perimeter of the fire is today's No. 1 priority, as heavy fuel loading inside the fire area could potentially hold heat for a long period of time. Crews on the ground will be aided in their efforts by three helicopters that will be used as needed on the fire today.

One lane of highway 138 West is currently open with flaggers as fire crews and Oregon Dept. of Transportation work to remove any hazards along the roadway. Drivers in the area are asked to use caution when driving near the fire as fire equipment will be coming in and out of the fire site throughout the day. Updates on the status of the highway will be available on www.tripcheck.com.

DFPA would like to thank all the local fire departments, ODOT, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and local landowners who have helped with the suppression efforts of the Highway 138 West Fire.

###
HIGHWAY 138 FIRE MORNING UPDATE
Firefighters were able to keep the Highway 138 West fire in check overnight and improved control lines around the immediate edge of the fire. No additional spread was reported, and the fire is still estimated at 60 acres.
Today, 110 firefighters will work to continue mopping up hot spots, starting on the edge of the fire and working into the center, with the goal of extinguishing all burning or smoldering materials within the perimeter of the fire. Mopping up the perimeter of the fire will be todays number one priority as heavy fuel loading inside the fire area could potentially hold heat for a long period of time. Crews on the ground will be aided in their efforts by three helicopters that will be used as needed on the fire today.
One lane of highway 138 West is currently open with flaggers as fire crews and ODOT work to remove any hazards along the roadway. Drivers in the area are asked to use caution when driving near the fire as fire equipment will be coming in and out of the fire throughout the day. Updates on the status of the highway will be available on www.tripcheck.com.
DFPA would like to thank all the local fire departments, ODOT, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and local landowners who have helped with the suppression efforts of the Highway 138 West Fire.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

DFPA Fighting Fire Near Sutherlin

The Douglas Forest Protective Association is working on a 30-35 acre fire near milepost 6 of Highway 138 west of Sutherlin. Two Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATs) and three helicopters are working the fire from the air to support about 30 firefighters on the ground. DFPA is being assisted by several rural fire departments in the suppression effort. At last report, firefighters were making excellent progress. Structures are in the area but not immediately threatened. Rural fire departments are providing structural protection. The cause of the fire is under investigation. To follow the action, follow along DFPA's Facebook Page here.

Highway 138 is now closed six miles east of Highway 38 Junction.

Oregon Dept. of Forestr fire update - Sept. 13, 2016

Fire Information Duty Officer
Tom Fields
503-983-8897
 
FIRES ON ODF-PROTECTED LANDS

New fires over 10 acres:
None


FIRE SEASON REMAINS IN EFFECT:
The Oregon Department of Forestry would like to remind everyone that fire season remains in effect with conditions still dry and susceptible to fire starts. Backyard debris burning and dispersed campfires remain prohibited throughout much of the state. Check with your local ODF office for restrictions in your area or log onto ODF's fire restrictions web page for more information.  

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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Fire restrictions lowered for industrial operators in SWO District

September 6, 2016

Oregon Department of Forestry                                                 
Southwest Oregon District                                       
Contact: Brian Ballou, 541-621-4156  Melissa Cano, 541-613-631
Cool temperatures and high relative humidity has prompted the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon District to drop the Industrial Fire Precaution Level to 2 today. Cable yarding, blasting, welding or cutting of metal, and powersaws except at loading sites may operate only between the hours of 8 p.m. and 1 p.m.

This does not change the fire danger level for the public. The regulated use closure will remain “extreme” (red). The regulations listed below affect 1.8 million acres of state, private, county, city and Bureau of Land Management lands in Jackson and Josephine counties that are protected by ODF’s Southwest Oregon District.
Fire prevention regulations currently in effect, and which will remain in effect for the public, include:
  • No debris burning in piles or in burn barrels;
  • No fireworks on forestlands;
  • Tracer ammunition and exploding targets may not be used on forestlands or in any other wildland area;
  • Sky lanterns are prohibited.
  • Campfires are allowed only in designated campgrounds. Portable stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels may be used in other locations;
  • Motorized vehicles are allowed only on improved roads;
  • Smoking while traveling is allowed only in enclosed vehicles on improved roads;
  • 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 2-½ lb. or larger fire extinguisher. All-terrain vehicles and motorcycles must be equipped with one 2-½ lb. or larger fire extinguisher;
  • A chainsaw with a spark-emitting internal combustion engine may not be used;
  • Mowing of dead or dry grass with equipment using a spark-emitting internal combustion engine is not allowed. This restriction does not include mowing of green lawns, or equipment used for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops;
  • The cutting, grinding or welding of metal is not allowed;
  • The use of any other spark-emitting internal combustion engine is not allowed;
  • Electric fence controllers must be approved by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories Inc., or be certified by the Department of Consumer and Business Services, and be installed and used in compliance with the fence controller’s instructions for fire safe operation.
 
In the Wild and Scenic Section of the Rogue River between Grave Creek and Marial:

  • Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in boats on the water, and on sand or gravel bars that lie between water and high water marks that are free of vegetation.
  • All travelers are required to carry one shovel and a one-gallon or larger bucket.
  • The use of fireworks is prohibited.
  • Campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires are prohibited. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels may be used.

For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry’s public regulated use regulations, or the Industrial Fire Precaution Levels please call or visit the Southwest Oregon District unit office nearest to you:

·         Medford Unit, 5286 Table Rock Rd., Central Point, 541-664-3328

·         Grants Pass Unit, 5375 Monument Dr., Grants Pass, 541-474-3152

Fire season information is also available online at www.swofire.com.

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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Firefighter efforts boost containment on Gold Canyon Fire

Sept. 1, 2016

Contacts:      
Brian Ballou, 541-621-4156
Melissa Cano, 541-613-6313
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
In the past 24 hours, air and ground support on the Gold Canyon Fire made significant progress toward containment. The 61-acre fire is now 60 percent contained.

Fire activity is expected to remain minimal today. Temperatures will be cooler today - in the high 70s and low 80s - but  there is a potential for wind gusts throughout the afternoon.

Firefighters will mop up 200 feet inside the fire line today to further strengthen the containment of this fire. Ground crews will also be gridding green areas surrounding the line for potential hot spots.

Residents on Wildpark Lane and Reeves Creek Road will remain at a Level 1 (Ready) Evacuation Level throughout the day as a precaution. No structures have been lost.

The fire was reported Tuesday at 4:53 p.m. Cause is under investigation. The Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon District is asking the public’s help in identifying the person or people who may be responsible for starting the Gold Canyon Fire.

Please call the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Grants Pass Unit office at 541-471-3883 if you have information that will help identify people or vehicles in the area at that time. Information received will be confidential.

Fire management officials ask that the public continue to use caution and adhere to regulations. Current fire restrictions for lands in Jackson and Josephine Counties protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry's Southwest Oregon District can be found at www.swofire.com.
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Crews continue work on Griffin Gulch Fire

September 1, 2016

NEWS RELEASE

Contact: Jamie Knight, 541-786-2039
 Baker City, OR—Crews remained on scene through the night to strengthen fire lines and extinguish hot spots on the Griffin Gulch Fire, located two miles southwest of Baker City. Today five fire engines, two water tenders, and five hand crews will be on scene working on containment. Containment of Griffin Gulch this morning is estimated at 15 percent. The fire is currently reported at 27 acres, due more accurate mapping. The fire started on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry and burned onto lands protected by the Greater Bowen Valley Fire Department. ODF and Greater Bowen Valley Fire are managing the fire today.

Evacuation levels for Griffin Gulch and the area surrounding Griffin Gulch remain at a Level 2 (SET). Level 2 evacuation means to "BE SET" to evacuate. Residents should be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice if conditions worsen. A Level 1 (READY) evacuation notice remains in place for residences of Elk Creek, Washington Gulch, Old Auburn and the foothills south of Baker City. A Level 1 evacuation means to "BE READY" for a potential evacuation. Residents should be aware of the danger that exists in their area, and monitor emergency notification systems and local media for updates.

The weather forecast for the area calls for gusty winds through today as a cold front moves in. Conditions for today are expected to be sunny with highs in the low 80s. Tonight there is a chance of showers and thunderstorms until midnight.

Citizens are reminded that ODF-protected lands remain in a Regulated Use Closure. Lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management also remain under public use restrictions. Please check restrictions before heading out to enjoy the outdoors. For current fire restrictions in northeast Oregon, check: www.bmidc.org.

http://bluemountainfireinfo.blogspot.com/ is the spot for current fire information in the Blue Mountains.

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Evacuations Levels lowered at Griffin Gulch Fire

Aug. 31, 2016

NEWS RELEASE

Contact: Jamie Knight, 541-786-2039

 Baker City, Ore—Firefighters are making good progress on the Griffin Gulch Fire. The fire is currently reported at 30 acres, located approximately two miles southwest of Baker City. Aggressive initial attack stopped the fire spread. Resources remained on scene Wednesday evening to continue securing the fire line and extinguishing hot spots. The fire is burning on lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry and the Greater Bowen Valley Fire District. ODF is managing the fire in coordination with Greater Bowen Valley Fire.

Currently The Griffin Gulch area has been lowered to a Level 2 (SET) evacuation order. The area surrounding Griffin Gulch remains at a Level 2. A Level 1 (READY) evacuation notice is still in place for Elk Creek, Washington Gulch, Old Auburn and the foothills south of Baker City. Evacuation orders will be reevaluated Thursday morning.

Resources on the fire include: one bulldozer, four fire engines, one water tender and five hand crews. Resources from Keating, Bowen Valley, and Baker Rural Fire Departments, as well as those from Oregon Department of Forestry and the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest responded Wednesday afternoon. Ten fire engines, four bulldozers, three hand crews, two helicopters, four Single Engine Air Tankers, two heavy air tankers, and an air attack plane were part of the effort.

Thunderstorm activity has been reported in the area and resources are patrolling the strike areas looking for any new starts.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Help wanted to determine cause of Gold Canyon Fire


OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY                                                                                                        
SOUTHWEST OREGON DISTRICT                                                                                              

Contact:      
Brian Ballou
541-621-4156                                                                                                                                                          

The Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon District is asking the public’s help in identifying the person or people who may be responsible for starting yesterday’s Gold Canyon Fire, which burned 120 acres of forestland south of Selma in Josephine County. The fire was reported at 4:53 p.m. Tuesday alongside Highway 199 (Redwood Highway) near the intersection with Gold Canyon Drive.

Please call the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Grants Pass Unit office at (541) 471-3883 if you have information that will help identify people or vehicles in the area at that time. Information received will be confidential.

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Gold Canyon Fire Lines Hold Overnight

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY                                                                                                        
SOUTHWEST OREGON DISTRICT                                                                                              

Contact: 
Melissa Cano,
541-613-6313                                                                                                                                                       

Fire crews worked through the night building and strengthening fire line on the Gold Canyon Fire south of Selma. The fire is approximately 120 acres, 100 percent lined and 20 percent contained as of this morning.

The fire was reported Tuesday at 4:53 p.m. burning in steep terrain consisting of tall brush and timber. The cause is under investigation.

Weather conditions today call for temperatures in the mid-80s. While temperatures and relative humidity are favorable, there is a chance of variable winds reaching five mph.

This morning firefighters will continue to strengthen fire line, monitor fire activity for hot spots and mop up 50 feet within the line. Fire crews will also be walking the perimeter in order to get an accurate estimate of acres burned.

Today, residents on Wildpark Lane and Terrece Place will remain at a Level 2 (Set) Evacuation Level. Residents on Reeves Creek Road will remain at a Level 1 (Ready) Evacuation Level, unless conditions change. The Rogue Valley Strike Team has been released, and the Illinois Valley Fire District will lead structural protection throughout the day.

An American Red Cross shelter has been set up at Rogue Community College in Grants Pass in the gymnasium for residents evacuated from the Gold Canyon Fire. 

Redwood Highway is back open this morning. Please be cautious while driving through the fire area. There will be an increased presence of fire traffic along the road.

Fire management officials ask that the public continue to use caution and adhere to regulations. Current fire restrictions for lands in Jackson and Josephine Counties protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest Oregon District can be found at www.swofire.com.
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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, in the summer of 2017 a series of heatwaves and a prolonged stretch of dry weather created conditions that dried forest fuels, allowing fires to start and spread. The result was more than a thousand fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.Ninety-five percent of these were put out at less than 10 acres.






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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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.