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 3, 2016

Railroad fire burning at Mosier


[Following is a report from the Oregon State Fire Marshal's Office on the status of a fire in the town of Mosier, Oregon. The Oregon Dept. of Forestry has fire engines on scene to protect wildlands in the vicinity of the fire.]
 
- 3:40 p.m. Friday, June 3, 2016 -
 
The OSFM has activated its Agency Operations Center for the purpose of managing information and communication regarding the Wasco County Train Derailment near the city of Mosier, Oregon.

Current information indicates that there was a derailment of 11 cars of a Union Pacific crude oil train near the city of Mosier,

Oregon. On scene personnel indicate that one tank car is burning.

A unified command has been established between Mosier Rural Fire and Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue.

OSFM Hazmat Emergency Response Team # 3 from Gresham is responding along with resources from Union Pacific

Railroad and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, and additional local, state, and federal resources.

Schools in Mosier have been evacuated and are being taken to Wahtonka campus in The Dalles.

Law enforcement is assisting with evacuations of threatened homes within a one-half mile radius of the incident. Those residents are also being accepted at the Wahtonka campus in The Dalles.

The Oregon Department of Transportation has closed I-84 westbound at The Dalles, MP 87, and eastbound at Mosier, MP 64. ODOT says traffic should detour to Washington SR 14.

Union Pacific and Burlington Northern railroads are deploying foam trailers and other supporting equipment to the incident.

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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.