2015 another severe fire season

A cool, wet winter and heavy snowpack delayed the start of fire season in much of western and northeastern Oregon. However, the onset of hotter, drier weather is quickly drying out forests and rangeland, making it easier for fires to start. More than half of ODF-protected lands are in districts that have declared the start of fire season this month. It's especially important as summer approaches 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.







Thursday, June 9, 2016

Akawana Fire update: June 9, 2016

Incident management teams from the Oregon Department of Forestry and the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office are currently serving in unified command on the Akawana Fire burning 13 miles north of Sisters. The fire is currently 1,930 acres. Approximately 912 homes in the Three Rivers Grandview area are considered threatened and under a Level 2 evacuation notice. Level 2 indicates that residents should be set for a potential evacuation. Residents must be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice.

The lightning-caused fire was reported on Tuesday, June 7 at 2 p.m. The fire is 30 percent contained and is currently burning on private forestland protected by ODF. The fire is being pushed by 15-20 mph winds and is burning in heavy dead and down fuels. The winds are expected to persist through today with a cooling trend in the next day or two. In all, about 400 firefighters and support staff are expected to work on the fire today. Crews are being supported from the air by helicopters and retardant-dropping air tankers. 

By mid-morning today the wind had calmed a bit.

Due to the threat to structures, Gov.Kate Brown invoked the Conflagration Act Wednesday afternoon at the request of Jefferson County Fire Defense Board Chief Brian Huff. The declaration authorizes the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal to mobilize firefighters and equipment to assist local resources battling the fire. The State Fire Marshal has mobilized four task forces, for a total of approximately 20 pieces of firefighting equipment, including engines and water tenders.

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 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.