Current situation

ODF's Southwest Oregon district has become the first to announce it will be declaring the start of fire season restrictions beginning Friday, June 1. The district has already reported having 34 wildfires burning 35 acres. Two-thirds (26) were caused by humans.

Statewide, the number of wildfires now exceeds 100, with 124 acres burned.

May is Wildfire Awareness Month, a time when homeowners are urged to take steps to reduce the risk of wildfire around their house and other structures. Among these are clearing debris from roofs and gutters, cutting back brush from around structures, and removing lower branches from trees.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Extreme fire danger in Klamath-Lake District as August begins


Randall Baley                                                                    
Klamath Falls                                                                     

Dustin Gustaveson

The Oregon Department of Forestry’S Klamath-Lake District encourages forest users to continue to exercise caution and avoid starting a wildfire. The district has experienced some cooler than normal weather through most of July, but the conditions have changed rapidly with the current hot and dry period. The trend of mid-summer temperatures well into the 80s and 90s with no moisture looks to continue for awhile. 
“It is time to go into Extreme Fire Danger Level,” said Randall Baley, protection unit forester. “We still want to encourage the summer family traditions and fun in camping and recreating but also ask people to keep in mind preventive details to reduce potential for accidental fire starts.”
The Klamath-Lake District has been in Public Regulated Use Restrictions since July 1, which fall on all private, county and state lands protected by the district in Klamath and Lake Counties, including Bureau of Land Management lands west of the Gerber Reservoir area.
Under the Public Regulated Use Closure on ODF-protected lands:
§  Smoking in wildland areas is permitted only in enclosed vehicles or improved roads.
§  Camping, cooking or warming fires are prohibited, except in the following designated locations:
- Klamath County - Topsy Campground (BLM), Surveyor Campground  (BLM), Collier State Park, Kimball State Park, Hagel­stein Park (county) and  posted sites in the Klamath River Canyon.

              - Lake County - Gooselake State Park.

           Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are permitted at all locations.
§  Chainsaw use is prohibited between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.
§  Use of motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, is prohibited, except on improved roads. Possession of a shovel at least 26 inches long and a 2.5 lb. fire extinguisher or larger, or filled gallon water container, is required while traveling in a motorized vehicle, except on state and county roads.
§  Debris Burning was banned June 3 in Klamath and Lake Counties when fire season was declared and remains in effect.
§  Cutting, grinding and welding of metal is prohibited. (For landowners and/or their employee(s) thereof, conducting activities associated with their livelihood, cutting, grinding and welding is prohibited between the hours of 1 p.m and 8 p.m.)
§  Use of fireworks is prohibited.

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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 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.