Current situation

Sunny and dry conditions again prevail across Oregon this week. Mild temperatures will give way to warmer conditions, melting snow and drying fuels faster. This will raise fire risk across the state. There have already been twice as many wildfires on ODF-protected land compared to the same time last year, with more than twice as many acres burned.



May is Wildfire Awareness Month, a time when homeowners are urged to take steps to reduce the risk of wildfire around their house and other structures. Among these are clearing debris from roofs and gutters, cutting back brush from around structures, and removing lower branches from trees.








Friday, June 10, 2016

Akawana Fire update - June 10, 2016 morning

Contact:
Tom Fields, Oregon Dept. of Forestry, 503-983-8897

Sisters, OR –  Residents in the Lake Billy Chinook area are breathing a little easier this morning thanks to a change in the weather and the persistence of fire crews on the Akawana Fire. Level 2 evacuation notices have been lowered to a Level 1 in the 3 Rivers Subdivision. About 262 homes in Forest Park, Air Park, Rim Park and outlining areas remain in a Level 2 evacuation notification, which calls for residents to be set to go at a moment’s notice. Consistent cloud cover and a trace of rain calmed fire behavior so that firefighters could build containment lines along the fire’s edge and keep the fire from further spread.

As of this morning the fire is 2,065 acres and completely lined. It is currently 44 percent contained. Total firefighting costs are close to $950,000.

While much of the fight has been taken out of the Akawana Fire, firefighters still have a lot of work ahead of them. ODF’s incident management team fire behavior analyst Mike Haasken reiterated to firefighters at this morning’s briefing that, although we will have cooler conditions, the forest fuels are still very dry and susceptible to ignition should something cross containment lines. An infrared photo taken from aircraft overnight indicated that the fire’s edge remains extremely hot. Today’s objectives include strengthening established containment lines and mopping up hot spots from the perimeter into the interior.

Structural task forces protecting homes under the Conflagration Act will continue to stand ready should the fire take an unexpected run. The threat to structures has decreased significantly. If conditions continue to improve throughout today, the OSFM may release some task forces to return to their home communities, however the OSFM will maintain a significant presence for the near future.   

Cooperating agencies assisting in the fire suppression effort include the Central Oregon Fire Management Service, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Jefferson and Deschutes County Emergency Management.     

For the latest updates on the fire, log on to www.facebook.com/ODFCentralOregon.

 

 

 

 

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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 mountain snowpack. It didn't take long for that to melt and vegetation to dry out due to a series of heatwaves and a prolonged stretch of dry weather over the summer. As forest fuels dried, fires started and spread, many from lands adjacent to those protected by ODF, such as the Chetco Bar Fire in Curry County. That one fire accounted for 46% of the 47,537 acres of land protected by ODF which burned in 2017. Of fires originating on ODF-protected land, 95% 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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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.