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.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Crews to begin demobilizing after fighting the Gibbon Fire

Firefighters were successful Thursday in completing the majority of planned burn-out operations on the Gibbon Fire, causing the overall acreage to increase to 316 acres.  The fire is now 40 percent contained.  Burning has been used to bring the fire to the indirect fire lines to further secure control lines and also to provide for firefighter safety.  

Objectives for today include mopping up along fire lines.  A helicopter will be assigned to the fire today to haul out surplus firefighting equipment and supplies that are no longer needed, as well as firefighters.  Crews will begin being demobilized from the fire today.  At the end of the shift today, the fire will be transitioned to a Type 4 management organization staffed by local Oregon Department of Forestry and Umatilla National Forest personnel.  A 10-person hand crew and one engine will remain on scene for the next few days.

As the weekend approaches and the public heads outdoors to recreate, they are reminded that lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry are under public use restrictions.

Fires on Other Jurisdictions

More info on the following fires:  

Rail Fire
The 11,800-acre Rail Fire burning 10 miles WSW of Unity is 10 percent contained.
Orejana Flat Fire
The 897-acre Orejana Flat Fire burning 30 miles NE of Frenchglen is 80 percent contained.
Juntura Complex
The 24,301-acre Juntura Complex burning 30 miles SW of Vale is 77 percent contained.

Fire Statistics

Fire statistics are for the current year and the average over the past 10 years for the 16 million acres of private and public forestland protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.

January 1, 2016, through Friday, Aug. 12, 2016:
Lightning-caused fires: 59 fires burned 2,218 acres
Human-caused fires: 430 fires burned 463 acres
Total: 488 fires burned 2,681 acres

10-year average (for this period of the year):
Lightning-caused fires: 221 fires burned 25,380 acres
Human-caused fires: 414 fires burned 4,206 acres
Total: 635 fires burned 29,586 acres

No comments:

Post a Comment

Have a question/comment about this season's wildfire activity on the 16 million acres of private and public forestlands that the Oregon Dept. of Forestry protects from wildfire? Let us know. Please keep your remarks civil and free of profanity.

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

My photo
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.