Current situation

Winter and spring see lots of controlled burns in Oregon to eliminate piles of woody debris left over after logging or thinning. Embers buried in the ashes of these pile burns can sometimes reignite even days after a fire appears to be out, especially if winds blow away ashy debris. The same winds can then fan smoldering embers back to life. That's why it's a good idea to keep checking old pile burns to ensure no hot spots have rekindled.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Gold Canyon Fire Lines Hold Overnight

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY                                                                                                        
SOUTHWEST OREGON DISTRICT                                                                                              

Melissa Cano,

Fire crews worked through the night building and strengthening fire line on the Gold Canyon Fire south of Selma. The fire is approximately 120 acres, 100 percent lined and 20 percent contained as of this morning.

The fire was reported Tuesday at 4:53 p.m. burning in steep terrain consisting of tall brush and timber. The cause is under investigation.

Weather conditions today call for temperatures in the mid-80s. While temperatures and relative humidity are favorable, there is a chance of variable winds reaching five mph.

This morning firefighters will continue to strengthen fire line, monitor fire activity for hot spots and mop up 50 feet within the line. Fire crews will also be walking the perimeter in order to get an accurate estimate of acres burned.

Today, residents on Wildpark Lane and Terrece Place will remain at a Level 2 (Set) Evacuation Level. Residents on Reeves Creek Road will remain at a Level 1 (Ready) Evacuation Level, unless conditions change. The Rogue Valley Strike Team has been released, and the Illinois Valley Fire District will lead structural protection throughout the day.

An American Red Cross shelter has been set up at Rogue Community College in Grants Pass in the gymnasium for residents evacuated from the Gold Canyon Fire. 

Redwood Highway is back open this morning. Please be cautious while driving through the fire area. There will be an increased presence of fire traffic along the road.

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 at

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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.