2015 another severe fire season

By mid-October 2016, ODF's net expenditures on large wildfires stood at $13.2 million. The lack of dry lightning played a significant role in the moderate firefighting costs this season. In 2015, large-fire costs totaled $29.6 million.


Thursday, September 29, 2016

NW Oregon to lift regulated-use closure Friday

The Oregon Department of Forestry announced today that the current Regulated-Use Closure in the Northwest Oregon Forest Protection District will be lifted Friday, Sept. 30.

This area includes all state, private and federal Bureau of Land Management forest lands in the Tillamook, Forest Grove and Astoria districts of ODF.

When Regulated Use is officially terminated, the public no longer must observe fire restrictions on smoking, campfires, chainsaws and motorized vehicles. However, everyone still needs to think about fire prevention all year-round. For example, do not discard burning materials, such as cigarettes, and always ensure campfires are cold before leaving.

Fire Season is still in effect
Meanwhile, forest operators must have required fire equipment at the sites of their operation, and are reminded to inspect their fire equipment to ensure it is ready and can pass inspection. Forest operators must also provide fire watch on each operation after equipment is shut down at the end of operations each day. Operators can refer to the Fire Watch Waiver in effect for IFPL fire watch requirements. Fire season rules also prohibit smoking while in or traveling through any "operation area," and prohibit the use of fuse and caps for blasting on forest land. Zones NW-1, NW-2, and NW-3 IFPL levels and changes may be obtained by calling your local ODF office or online, http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx.

For the general public, burning permits are required for open pile burning and burn barrels. Residents who live within a city fire department district or rural fire protection district will need to contact their local fire officials for burning and burn permit requirements.

Fire can be a hazard at any time of year if steps are not taken to use it safely. Whenever you use fire, whether for debris burning or enjoying a campfire, follow these steps to prevent your fire from turning into the next wildfire.
  • Never leave your fire unattended.
  • When burning debris, always have a hose and shovel at the fire to prevent the fire from spreading.
  • Check with your local fire protection agency prior to burning. (Most Rural Fire Protection Districts require a burn permit year round.)
  • If camping, ensure your campfire is in a designated area.
  • Always make sure your campfire is out cold before leaving.
  • On the beach, keep your campfire far from beach grass and drift wood piles.
Once the proclamation is processed early Friday morning, you can find it and other restrictions and closures information on the ODF website, at the link above. 

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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: information@odf.state.or.us.

Current wildfire info

The weather conditions setting up for this summer are ominous: continuing drought, meager winter snowpack, and above-average temperatures forecast through August.

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. There are about 30.4 million total 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. Suppression of large fires can run into millions of dollars.

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Oregon Dept. of Forestry's public information officers maintain this blog. During the wildfire season, we spend much of our time reporting on fires and firefighting to news media and the public.