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 17, 2016

Multiple fires reported in Lake County Aug. 17

This afternoon firefighters from the South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership (SCOFMP) responded to several fires along U.S. Highway 395 and Oregon State Highway 31 from north of Lakeview to north of Paisley.

There are four fires total. 

The largest is the Withers Fire, northwest of Paisley, which started on Bureau of Land Management  Lakeview District lands. The fire is moving towards private and Fremont-Winema National Forest lands. 

It is currently estimated at approx. 800 acres. It is potentially threatening the town of Paisley and is burning on the southeast side of Winter Rim.

Currently there is a Level 1 Evacuation in place in Paisley. This means residents should “Be Ready” for potential evacuation, monitor local media and should make preparations if an evacuation becomes necessary.

There are 19 fire engines, four bulldozers, one hand crew, three single-engine air tankers, four heavy air tankers, three helicopters, and a lead plane working the fire this evening. Additional resources have been ordered.

A Type 3 incident management team has been ordered and is expected to arrive Thursday morning.

The other three fires pose no threat at this time. The first fire located on Highway 395 was contained at a quarter-acre, and the second fire along the highway was lined at a little over two acres and is being mopped-up. The J.V fire is located off Hwy 31, west of the Withers Fire, and is approximately six acres.

Cause of the fires is currently under investigation.

For more information on the Withers Fire, visit

Area visitors are asked to be aware of their surroundings and to be prepared for changing conditions.  This includes reporting visible smoke that could be from a wildfire.

To report a fire, please call 911.

With hot, dry weather forecast through the end of the week and into the weekend, fire conditions remain extreme throughout the SCOFMP area. The agencies ask that the public be careful with anything that can throw a spark while out on federal or state public lands.

Fire danger remains extreme in Lake and Klamath counties. The area is also under Industrial Fire Precaution Level 3 and there are Public Use Restrictions in place on Forest Service, BLM and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands in the area and Stage 1 Fire Restrictions in effect at Crater Lake National Park.  

For more information on the IFPL restrictions, please visit For information on specific restrictions in areas under Oregon Dept. of Folrestry’s fire protection, please visit Visitors are also advised to be aware of Personal Use and Fire Restrictions when planning a visit to their public lands.

For more information on SCOFMP, please visit, on Twitter @scofmpfireinfo or on Facebook at


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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.