Current situation

Welcome rain and cooler temperatures early this week have reduced fire danger in Oregon. The change in weather has also helped check the growth of many existing fires and allowed firefighters to increase containment levels.




















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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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 snowpack at higher elevations which will take some time to melt. However, even in non-drought years Oregon's warm, dry summers create conditions that allow for fire to start and spread. In an average summer firefighters still see almost a thousand fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.



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.