Current situation

Sunny and dry conditions again prevail across Oregon this week. Mild temperatures will give way to warmer conditions, melting snow and drying fuels faster. This will raise fire risk across the state. There have already been twice as many wildfires on ODF-protected land compared to the same time last year, with more than twice as many acres burned.

May is Wildfire Awareness Month, a time when homeowners are urged to take steps to reduce the risk of wildfire around their house and other structures. Among these are clearing debris from roofs and gutters, cutting back brush from around structures, and removing lower branches from trees.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Fire danger level is raised to moderate in ODF's Southwest Oregon District

MEDFORD, Ore. -- ODF's Southwest Oregon District has raised the fire danger level from low to moderate. The change reflects hotter weather that has speeded up the drying of grass and other vegetation. As of June 20 the district has seen 44 fires, a third of all fires reported so far this year on ODF-protected lands. All but three of these fires were caused by humans.  
Fire restriction are now in effect on the 1.8 million acres of public and private land protected by ODF in Jackson and Josephine counties. Restrictions in effect at all times include:
  • No debris burning, including burn barrels and piles
  • No open fires, including campfires except in designated campgrounds. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are still allowed.
  • No fireworks on forestland
  • No use of exploding targets, tracer ammunition or bullets with pyrotechnic charges in their base
  • No smoking in forestlands except in enclosed vehicles on improved roads, on boats on water, or in designated locations
  • Motorized vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, are allowed only on improved roads free of flammable vegetation.
Restrictions in effect between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. include:
  •  No use of chainsaws. When they are allowed, have a shovel and fire extinguisher or a gallon of water on hand and keep a one-hour fire watch after use.    
  • No mowing of dead or dried grass with power-driven equipment (mowing of irrigated green grass is still allowed)
  • Other restrictions are also in effect and can be viewed on the district's website
Fire danger in the Klamath-Lake District in eastern Oregon is also at moderate.
Check with your local ODF office for details about restrictions in your area or log onto ODF's fire restrictions web page for more information.  

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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:

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.