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.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Wildfire Update August 5

Rail Fire
The 6,543 acre Rail Fire is burning 10 miles WSW of Unity in timber and beetle-killed lodgepole pine, in a mix of moderate to steep terrain. As a result of a wind event on Tuesday, the fire spread onto adjacent private property protected by ODF. Approximately 8 acres of private land has been affected.
Suppression along the east side of the fire has lessened the threat to private lands. The fire is 5 percent contained. 

An estimated 621 people are assigned to the fire. Objectives for today include improving fire lines, protecting a communication tower site, and minimizing private acres burned. ODF fire managers, personnel and equipment have been involved in the firefighting operations.
Ten residences along Cemetery Road, South Fork Road and Bull Run Road are under a Level 1 "Ready" evacuation order. This evacuation notice is downgraded from the previously issued Level 2 "Set" evacuation order. Forest Service campgrounds Mammoth Springs, Elk Creek, Stevens Creek and South Fork remain closed to the public.

The forecast for Friday and Saturday calls for a chance of mostly dry thunderstorms in the area. Thunderstorms often produce gusty winds which can be problematic for firefighters on the line. Temperatures are expected to be in the mid-80s to lower 90s today.
Current fire restrictions for forestlands in Northeast Oregon can be found at is the spot for current fire information in the Blue Mountains.

Neal Creek Fire
The Neal Creek Fire was reported yesterday evening burning in dense second growth Douglas-fir on steep terrain approximately eight miles south of Hood River, in the Oregon Department of Forestry's Dalles Unit. The fire is estimated to be 15 acres in size.

Winds up to 20 miles an hour and steep terrain could be challenging as hand crews lay hose around the fire today. The fire is now 50 percent contained.
Resources on scene include four 20 person hand crews and 2 engines. A Type 2 and Type 1 helicopter is available. 

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

More info on the following fires:  
Bybee Creek Fire
The 788-acre  Bybee Creek Fire burning 18 miles NE of Prospect is 12 percent contained.
Rail Fire
The 6543-acre Rail Fire burning 10 miles WSW of Unity is 5 percent contained.

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. 5, 2016:
Lightning-caused fires: 47 fires burned 2,126 acres
Human-caused fires: 392 fires burned 459 acres
Total: 439 fires burned 2,675 acres

10-year average (for this period of the year)
Lightning-caused fires: 162 fires burned 17,020 acres
Human-caused fires: 380 fires burned 4,136 acres
Total: 542 fires burned 21,156 acres

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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:

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.