Current situation

Heat returns to much of the state early this week, with air quality alerts from wildfire smoke for northwest Oregon and Josephine, Jackson, Klamath and Lake counties. Lightning sparked a number of wildfires over the weekend, with a chance for more through Monday in eastern Oregon.


Many ODF districts and forest protective associations are in high or extreme fire danger with tightened restrictions on activities linked to fire starts. Check ODF's fire restrictions and closures web page for the latest details at http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Two large fires burning in eastern Oregon

The following two wildfires are burning on Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service lands respectively:

Owyhee Canyon Fire – The 20,500-acre fire is burning 38 miles SW of Jordan Valley, Ore., on the  Vale BLM District. It is 50 percent contained. It was reported the afternoon of June 5. Cause: lightning. Resources include: 25 fire engines, 4 water tenders, 2 dozers, 4 Snake River Valley hand crews, 1 hot shot crew and miscellaneous air resources. According to Marvin Vetter, the Jordan Valley Rangeland Protection Association has been assisting on the fire since Saturday. More wind and lightning are forecast for today.

Draw Fire – The 400-acre fire is burning 20 miles NE of Chiloquin on the Fremont-Winema NF. It is uncontained. It was reported the morning of June 5. Winds carried the blaze over a control line and spot fires started beyond the fire line. Cause: under investigation. Resources include: 75 firefighters, various air tankers and helicopters. The South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership Type 3 IMT is scheduled to take over the fire the morning of June 7.

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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 about current wildfires. Please keep your posts civil and free of profanity.

Current wildfire info

National weather forecasters are predicting the summer of 2018 will see above average temperatures and below average rainfall. Drought has already been declared in a number of counties in eastern and southern Oregon, with northwest Oregon also unusually dry for June. These conditions set the stage for potentially large, fast-moving wildfires.

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.