2015 another severe fire season

A cool, wet winter and heavy snowpack delayed the start of fire season in much of western and northeastern Oregon. However, the onset of hotter, drier weather is quickly drying out forests and rangeland, making it easier for fires to start. More than half of ODF-protected lands are in districts that have declared the start of fire season this month. It's especially important as summer approaches to avoid or be extra careful with any potential source of fire in wooded areas. Fire season means the end of most outdoor activities that are high risk for starting a fire, such as debris burning, campfires outside of designated areas, and using tracer ammunition and exploding targets.







Thursday, August 25, 2016

Firefighters make progress on Cleveland Ridge Fire at 25 percent containment

Aug. 23, evening

Contact:       Brian Ballou, 541-621-4156
                       Melissa Cano, 541-613-6313
 
Firefighters are holding the Cleveland Ridge Fire at 635 acres. The fire burning on private and Bureau of Land Management forestlands north/northwest of Shady Cove has a fire line completed around 100 percent of the fire and is 25 percent contained as of Wednesday evening.

With the help of aerial support, day shift firefighters made significant progress on the northern end of the fire. While the fire is still burning toward the north, night shift crews continued to strengthen the fire line in order to prepare for the warm temperatures and high winds expected by Thursday evening.

The Level 2 Be Set) evacuation notice in place is being reduced to a Level 1 (Be Ready) for residents on Taylor Road and the West Fork of Trail Creek Road, as well as residents along Highway 227 from the junction with the West Fork of Trail Creek Road to address 6481 Highway 227. ODF thanks all of the fire agencies in Jackson and Josephine Counties for their assistance with structural protection. Road blocks and closures on West Fork of Trail Creek Road are still in place as firefighters continue to work the Cleveland Ridge Fire.

As a reminder, TouVelle State Park in Central Point is closed to the public. The park is being used as the site for the fire camp. Please avoid the area due to increased fire traffic, if possible.

The fire was reported at 4:01 p.m. Monday, and its cause is under investigation.

Fire management officials ask that the public continue to use caution and adhere to regulations. Current fire restrictions for lands in Jackson and Josephine Counties protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest Oregon District can be found on the district’s Facebook page at “ODF Southwest Oregon District,” @ODFSouthwest, and the website www.swofire.com. Maps of the Cleveland Ridge Fire can be found at https://swofiredata.com.
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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. There are about 30.4 million total 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.