Current situation

Winter and spring see lots of controlled burns in Oregon to eliminate piles of woody debris left over after logging or thinning. Embers buried in the ashes of these pile burns can sometimes reignite even days after a fire appears to be out, especially if winds blow away ashy debris. The same winds can then fan smoldering embers back to life. That's why it's a good idea to keep checking old pile burns to ensure no hot spots have rekindled.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

DFPA tightens fire restrictions July 1

Due to the continued hot and dry weather, the Douglas Forest Protective Association will impose a “Regulated Use Closure” effective 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 1. The Public Fire Restrictions will be in effect on all 1.6 million acres of private, county, state and Bureau of Land Management lands protected by DFPA. The Industrial Fire Precaution level (IFPL) will remain at Level 1 for the Douglas District.

Under DFPA’s Public Fire Restrictions, the following provisions are set to help prevent wildfires:

·         Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water, and at other designated locations.
·         Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except at designated locations. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed. DFPA’s 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.
·         The use of fireworks is prohibited.
·         Motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, are only allowed on improved roads free of flammable vegetation, except for the culture and harvest of agricultural crops. In addition, each vehicle traveling on forest roads must have a shovel and one gallon of water or one operational 2-½ lb. or larger fire extinguisher. All-terrain vehicles and motorcycles must be equipped with one operational 2-½ lb.or larger fire extinguisher.

·         Electric fence controllers must be approved by a nationally recognized testing laboratory or be certified by the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, and be installed and used in compliance with the fence controller’s instructions for fire safe operation.
·         Chainsaws may not be used between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. During other hours, chainsaw users must have a shovel and an 8-oz. or larger fire extinguisher at the job site, and a one-hour fire watch is required after the saw is shut down.
·         Mowing of dead or dry grass with power-driven equipment will not be allowed between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. 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 will not be allowed between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. These activities will be allowed during other hours provided the work site is cleared of potentially flammable vegetation and other materials, and a water supply is at the job site.
In addition to DFPA’s Public Fire Restrictions, 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 Public Fire Restrictions, 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 heading to the woods.

For more information about public or industrial fire restrictions on DFPA protected land, call DFPA’s 24-hour information line at 541-672-0379 or visit


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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:

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.


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.