2015 another severe fire season

A cool, wet winter and heavy snowpack delayed the start of fire season in much of western and northeastern Oregon. However, the onset of hotter, drier weather is quickly drying out forests and rangeland, making it easier for fires to start. More than half of ODF-protected lands are in districts that have declared the start of fire season this month. It's especially important as summer approaches to avoid or be extra careful with any potential source of fire in wooded areas. Fire season means the end of most outdoor activities that are high risk for starting a fire, such as debris burning, campfires outside of designated areas, and using tracer ammunition and exploding targets.







Monday, June 19, 2017

Douglas Forest Protective Association declares fire season

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- The Douglas Forest Protective Association (DFPA) announced the start of fire season today on the 1.6 million acres of land it protects in Douglas County. The start of fire season ends unregulated outdoor debris burning in rural Douglas County. If fire conditions allow, DFPA will issue free burn permits for handmade debris piles until July 1. An onsite inspection by a forest officer is required before a burn permit can be issued. The inspection is to ensure that:
  • the pile is in a safe location close to a water source
  • the pile is surrounded by a fire trail scraped down to bare soil
  • that fire tools are at the ready 
To schedule an onsite inspection for a burn permit, call DFPA at 541-672-6507.

Also suspended until the end of fire season is the use of exploding targets and tracer ammunition on or within an eighth of a mile of any public or private land protected by DFPA. That includes county, state, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Indian Affairs lands in addition to private forestland.

Already this year, some 14 fires have burned 65 acres on DFPA lands. Although most have been small, at the end of May the Honey Creek Fire northeast of Glide burned 54 acres. 
With the onset of fire season, debris piles like this may no longer be burned without a permit on or near land protected by the Douglas Forest Protective Association. (Photo by Melissa Cano)

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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: 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. 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. 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.