Current situation

Sunny and dry conditions again prevail across Oregon this week. Mild temperatures will give way to warmer conditions, melting snow and drying fuels faster. This will raise fire risk across the state. There have already been twice as many wildfires on ODF-protected land compared to the same time last year, with more than twice as many 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.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Firefighters battling fire, heat in Lane County

Aug. 26, 2016                         

Tom Fields

The Oregon Department of Forestry has its hands full this morning with a fire that started in the late afternoon yesterday 10 miles west of Junction City. The High Pass 12.5 Fire has burned roughly 200 acres in remote timberland of Lane County. The fire is expected to grow considerably today given the conditions and terrain. Fire officials estimate that the fire is 10 percent contained. No structures are threatened.

Continued hot and windy conditions combined with tinder dry forest fuels have prompted ODF's Western Lane District to call for one of the agencies incident management teams. ODF's Type 1 IMT 2 (Chris Cline incident commander), comprised of 33 overhead personnel and support staff from across Oregon, will receive a briefing about the fire later today.

Currently, more than 200 firefighters are assigned to the fire that is burning in timber and young plantations in steep rugged terrain primarily on Bureau of Land Management and private industrial timberlands. The firefighters are being supported with two medium and two large helicopters, several fire engines and two retardant-dropping air tankers. The district is also receiving support from BLM, the U.S. Forest Service and several private landowners and forest workers.

Fire officials are hopeful that the recent heat wave will come to an end soon. Four ODF districts west of the Cascades imposed Industrial Fire Precaution Level 4 today that calls for a general shutdown of all forest operations due to extreme fire danger. Many workers unable to work due to the shutdown will be able to assist the district with the fire.



  1. Friend who lives in Cheshire is struggling to understand exactly where the fire is... can you help? --Barbara

  2. The High Pass 12.5 Fire's location is 10 miles west of Junction City. We don't have any additional info.


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

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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.