Current situation

Smoke from wildfires in British Columbia and Washington continue to affect air quality in much of northern Oregon today. Meanwhile, smoke from multiple wildfires again hovers over southwest Oregon. Mostly dry thunderstorms are predicted through Friday in southern and eastern Oregon, which could result in lightning-sparked fires.


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.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Fire Season begins July 5 in West Oregon District

News Release              
June 30, 2016                                      
Contact: Pat MacMeekin
541-929-9165

Patrick.a.macmeekin@oregon.gov


Due to increasing fire danger, the Oregon Department of Forestry has officially declared that fire season will go into effect at 1 a.m. Tuesday, July 5, in the West Oregon District. This area includes private, state, county and Bureau of Land Management forestlands protected by ODF in Benton, Polk, Lincoln and southern Yamhill counties.

Fire season requirements will be in effect for industrial operations occurring in the West Oregon District. Operations are required to have fire prevention and firefighting equipment at the operation site and provide a fire watch on each operation after equipment is shut down. This includes: fire tools and fire tool box for the operation, as well as fire tools and extinguishers for vehicles. Operations must meet the water supply requirements, pump requirements, power saw requirements, spark arrester requirements, and cable operation requirements.

In addition, open burning has been banned in Benton and Polk counties. These bans are implemented in cooperation with local fire defense boards and ODF, and will remain in effect until significant rains begin in the fall.

Fire season is declared each year based on weather conditions and fire danger. As forest vegetation dries due to warmer temperatures and less rain, fire danger increases. As the fire season progresses, further restrictions will be put in effect on both public and forest operations to reduce the chance of wildfires. Extra precautions need to be taken by forest users and forest workers to prevent fires from starting.

For more information on fire season requirements, contact the West Oregon District at:
541-929-3266 Philomath Office
503-934-8146 Dallas Office
541-366-2273 Toledo Office
Or visit the Oregon Dept. of Forestry website at www.oregon.gov/ODF  

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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.