Current situation

Smoke from wildfires in British Columbia and Washington continue to affect air quality in much of northern Oregon today. Meanwhile, smoke from multiple wildfires again hovers over southwest Oregon. Mostly dry thunderstorms are predicted through Friday in southern and eastern Oregon, which could result in lightning-sparked fires.


Many ODF districts and forest protective associations are in high or extreme fire danger with tightened restrictions on activities linked to fire starts. Check ODF's fire restrictions and closures web page for the latest details at http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Evacuations Levels lowered at Griffin Gulch Fire

Aug. 31, 2016

NEWS RELEASE

Contact: Jamie Knight, 541-786-2039

 Baker City, Ore—Firefighters are making good progress on the Griffin Gulch Fire. The fire is currently reported at 30 acres, located approximately two miles southwest of Baker City. Aggressive initial attack stopped the fire spread. Resources remained on scene Wednesday evening to continue securing the fire line and extinguishing hot spots. The fire is burning on lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry and the Greater Bowen Valley Fire District. ODF is managing the fire in coordination with Greater Bowen Valley Fire.

Currently The Griffin Gulch area has been lowered to a Level 2 (SET) evacuation order. The area surrounding Griffin Gulch remains at a Level 2. A Level 1 (READY) evacuation notice is still in place for Elk Creek, Washington Gulch, Old Auburn and the foothills south of Baker City. Evacuation orders will be reevaluated Thursday morning.

Resources on the fire include: one bulldozer, four fire engines, one water tender and five hand crews. Resources from Keating, Bowen Valley, and Baker Rural Fire Departments, as well as those from Oregon Department of Forestry and the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest responded Wednesday afternoon. Ten fire engines, four bulldozers, three hand crews, two helicopters, four Single Engine Air Tankers, two heavy air tankers, and an air attack plane were part of the effort.

Thunderstorm activity has been reported in the area and resources are patrolling the strike areas looking for any new starts.

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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 about current wildfires. Please keep your posts civil and free of profanity.

Current wildfire info

National weather forecasters are predicting the summer of 2018 will see above average temperatures and below average rainfall. Drought has already been declared in a number of counties in eastern and southern Oregon, with northwest Oregon also unusually dry for June. These conditions set the stage for potentially large, fast-moving wildfires.

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.

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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.