Current situation

Widespread rain and unseasonably cool temperatures in Oregon have dampened existing fires and prevented new ones, easing the strain on firefighting resources. At the same time, wet conditions are making it harder on firefighters trying to remove equipment and repair the impacts from suppression efforts. In steep areas that burned earlier this summer, mudflows, rockslides and fire-weakened trees falling are concerns.






















Tuesday, October 18, 2016

2016 Fire Season ends

Oct. 14, 2016                         

Contact: Tom Fields, 503-945-7440, tom.fields@oregon.gov

The end of the 2016 fire season caps off a successful summer following three tumultuous seasons. The Oregon Department of Forestry, which protects roughly 16 million acres of private, state and federal lands, officially ended fire season today (Friday, Oct. 14, 2016), with the Central Oregon District being the last to lift restrictions.

ODF and its fire protective association partners suppressed 807 fires in 2016 that burned 5,554 acres and cost about $17.4 million. In comparison, the volatile fire seasons from 2013-2015 accounted for an annual average of 81,467 acres and about $88 million in fire suppression costs.

"Overall, we are pleased with the outcome of the 2016 fire season," said ODF Fire Protection Deputy Chief Ron Graham. "Thanks to aggressive and safe firefighting, we were able to keep several fires with great potential small in scale while keeping firefighter injuries to a minimum. We are thankful for our partners within Oregon's complete and coordinated fire protection system, including forest landowners, rural fire districts, and federal and state partners that played key roles throughout the fire season."

While acres burned were significantly less than normal, the number of human-caused fires was well above average. ODF's fire statistics show that more than 90 percent of the ignitions in 2016 resulted from people, up nearly 25 percent from the average. Graham said there is still a lot of work to be done through prevention.

"Fire prevention remains our top priority," he said. "Human-caused fires, especially debris burning and illegal, abandoned campfires continue to raise concern. We are constantly looking for new ways to raise awareness to reduce these unnecessary and careless fires."

The end of fire season does not mean the end of fire prevention. The public is urged to continue to practice vigilance with any activity associated with fire. When burning yard debris, do so during daylight hours under calm conditions. Scrape a fire trail down to mineral soil completely around burn piles. Keep piles small and manageable, feeding the fire periodically from larger piles. Monitor the burn carefully and keep a shovel and charged garden hose at the ready.

Just like a campfire, never leave the burn pile unattended and put the fire completely out before leaving. Revisit the burn site regularly over several weeks to make sure the fire has not rekindled.

Burn piles, especially tightly compacted piles, can hold heat and smolder for many weeks, rekindling when the temperature goes up and the wind blows. Residents should contact their local fire department before conducting any burning as restrictions vary among local fire districts.

Fire season is declared and terminated on a district-by-district basis based on fire danger conditions. Walker Range Fire Patrol, which provides protection for ODF near Crescent, was the first to declare fire season on June 1.

Below is a list of ODF Fire Protection Districts and their fire season start and end dates:

- Walker Range Fire Patrol Association, June 1-Oct. 13
- Central Oregon District, June 3-Oct. 14
- Klamath-Lake District, June 3-Oct. 13
- Southwest Oregon District, June 3-Oct. 13
- Douglas Forest Protective Association, June 8-Oct. 5
- Coos Forest Protective Association, June 24-Oct. 6
- Northeast Oregon District, June 28-Oct. 13
- South Cascade District, June 28-Oct. 5
- Western Lane District, June 28-Oct. 6
- North Cascade District, June 30-Oct. 1
- West Oregon District, July 5-Oct. 4
- Northwest Oregon District, July 30-Oct. 4
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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Fall precipitation ends fire season for lands protected by Northeast Oregon District

Department of Forestry - Northeast Oregon District

October 12, 2016


Contact: Jamie Knight, 541-786-2039
 As of Oct. 13, 2016, the Oregon Department of Forestry has terminated fire season for forestlands protected by the Northeast Oregon District. This includes private, state, county, municipal and tribal lands protected by ODF. The Northeast Oregon District includes lands in the following counties: Union, Baker, Umatilla, Wallowa and small portions of Grant, Morrow and Malheur counties.

The forecast is calling for a turn towards wetter and cooler fall weather. Mitch Williams, Wildland Fire Supervisor in La Grande Unit ,reminds people to exercise caution:

"It’s important to remember that a warmer or windy day can dry fine fuels out quickly. Folks burning slash or debris piles should remember that conditions can become unfavorable fairly quick this time of year. If we have periods of warming and drying later in the fall, it’s essential for landowners to go out and check slash piles that were burned for remaining heat that could cause a problem. It’s not uncommon for us to be fighting escaped slash fires in late October and November."

With the termination of fire season, requirements for providing firefighting equipment at logging sites or obtaining a burn permit from ODF are no longer in effect. Terminating fire season does not relieve landowners or forest operators of lawful responsibilities concerning the safe burning of debris or slash.

Specific Smoke Management/Burning Advisory Information:

If you are under the protection of a rural or city fire department, please call and ask what their burning restrictions are. Burn permits for burn barrels or small amounts of yard debris are not required on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry. In addition, burning within the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation requires a permit from CTUIR. Follow all requirements within the permit.

Burning slash from forestry and logging activities requires a Notification of Operation/PDM from ODF. In addition to this permit, the local ODF office must be contacted prior to ignition. Before burning in northeast Oregon, it is important to check weather conditions relative to smoke management. For smoke management forecasts call 541-963-9781 or visit the following website:

www.odf.state.or.us/DIVISIONS/protection/fire_protection/Daily/neo.htm.

Slash burns must be registered with the local ODF office at least seven days prior to burning and burning accomplishments after seven days.

The Northeast Oregon District of the Oregon Department of Forestry would like to thank all of our landowners, forest operators and the public for their efforts in fire prevention, detection and suppression activities this season. In 2016, the district had 38 fires that burned a total of 871 acres; this is well below the 10-year average of 7,500 +/- acres. Fourteen of the fires were lightning caused; the lowest number since 1960 for the Northeast Oregon District.

For further information, call your local ODF office:

La Grande Unit 541-963-3168

Baker City Sub-Unit 541-523-5831

Wallowa Unit 541-886-2881

Pendleton Unit 541-276-3491

To report a fire, call the Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch Center at 541-963-7171, or dial 9-1-1.

http://bluemountainfireinfo.blogspot.com/ is your spot for current fire information in the Blue Mountains.


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: information@odf.state.or.us.

Current wildfire info

Cool, wet weather in the winter of 2016-17 ended Oregon's long drought and left a thick snowpack at higher elevations which will take some time to melt. However, even in non-drought years Oregon's warm, dry summers create conditions that allow for fire to start and spread. In an average summer firefighters still see almost a thousand fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.



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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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.