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.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Crews continue work on Griffin Gulch Fire

September 1, 2016


Contact: Jamie Knight, 541-786-2039
 Baker City, OR—Crews remained on scene through the night to strengthen fire lines and extinguish hot spots on the Griffin Gulch Fire, located two miles southwest of Baker City. Today five fire engines, two water tenders, and five hand crews will be on scene working on containment. Containment of Griffin Gulch this morning is estimated at 15 percent. The fire is currently reported at 27 acres, due more accurate mapping. The fire started on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry and burned onto lands protected by the Greater Bowen Valley Fire Department. ODF and Greater Bowen Valley Fire are managing the fire today.

Evacuation levels for Griffin Gulch and the area surrounding Griffin Gulch remain at a Level 2 (SET). Level 2 evacuation means to "BE SET" to evacuate. Residents should be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice if conditions worsen. A Level 1 (READY) evacuation notice remains in place for residences of Elk Creek, Washington Gulch, Old Auburn and the foothills south of Baker City. A Level 1 evacuation means to "BE READY" for a potential evacuation. Residents should be aware of the danger that exists in their area, and monitor emergency notification systems and local media for updates.

The weather forecast for the area calls for gusty winds through today as a cold front moves in. Conditions for today are expected to be sunny with highs in the low 80s. Tonight there is a chance of showers and thunderstorms until midnight.

Citizens are reminded that ODF-protected lands remain in a Regulated Use Closure. Lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management also remain under public use restrictions. Please check restrictions before heading out to enjoy the outdoors. For current fire restrictions in northeast Oregon, check: is the spot for current fire information in the Blue Mountains.


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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.