Current situation

Fire season on ODF-protected land has officially ended in all of Oregon as cooler temperatures and moister conditions settle over much of the state. This late in the fall, a key source of ignitions is fire escaping when piles of woody debris are burned. Care is required with that activity at any time of year.
































Monday, August 1, 2016

Extreme fire danger in Klamath-Lake District as August begins

Contacts:    

Randall Baley                                                                    
Klamath Falls                                                                     
541-883-5681

Dustin Gustaveson
Lakeview
541-947-3311

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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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, in the summer of 2017 a series of heatwaves and a prolonged stretch of dry weather created conditions that dried forest fuels, allowing fires to start and spread. The result was more than a thousand fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.Ninety-five percent of these 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.





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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.