Current situation

Winter and spring see lots of controlled burns in Oregon to eliminate piles of woody debris left over after logging or thinning. Embers buried in the ashes of these pile burns can sometimes reignite even days after a fire appears to be out, especially if winds blow away ashy debris. The same winds can then fan smoldering embers back to life. That's why it's a good idea to keep checking old pile burns to ensure no hot spots have rekindled.

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:

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.