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.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Conditions have dried out considerably as firefighters battle Weigh Station Fire along I-84

Saturday evening, July 30, 2016

Contact: Jamie Knight, (541) 786-2039

Pendleton, OR- An aggressively burning wildfire is threatening homes and has had Interstate 84 closed for several hours in Northeast Oregon. Level 3 evacuations have been issued both North and South of the interstate for homes near Deadman Pass. The Weigh Station fire has burned over 700 acres as of 8 p.m. and is 0% contained. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Gusty winds and dry fuel conditions are helping to drive the fire. The fire behavior has moderated some with sunset, but the fire is still burning actively in timber and grass. The fire made aggressive runs and displayed group torching in timber stands of Ponderosa pine this afternoon.

As the fire is burning actively near I-84, the freeway is closed east bound. Oegon Department of Transportation reports that the freeway is closed eastbound at Exit 216 in Pendleton.  For up to date information concerning closures, please check

Local resources on the fire include nine Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATs), one heavy air tanker, two helicopters, one air attack, one lead plane, three dozers, more than 12 engines, one hot shot crew, and various overhead personnel. Firefighters from Umatilla County, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR), Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), United States Forest Service (USFS) and Oregon Department of forestry are battling the blaze. The fire is burning on lands protected by and is being managed by the Oregon Department of Forestry.

Objectives for tonight including completing containment lines and strengthening lines by firing along them. The Blue Mountain Type 3 Interagency Incident Management Team is taking command of the fire tomorrow morning.

The near-term weather report calls for warm temperatures and a chance of thunderstorms. The public is reminded that ODF is currently in Regulated Use Closure in Northeast Oregon. Fire managers recommend that recreationists and travelers check the fire regulations before heading out to enjoy the forest. is your spot for current fire information in the Blue Mountains.





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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 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.


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.