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, July 17, 2017

Fire near Clatskanie contained to about 29 acres

CLATSKANIE, Ore. - A wildfire at milepost 5.5. along Highway 47 near Clatskanie is reported as fully lined
 
at 29 acres. About 50 personnel are on site this morning mopping up the fire. Hoses have been laid to help firefighters water down any burning woody debris. Investigators will be arriving on scene this morning to look into the cause of the fire. Highway 47 is now reopened.

The fire was reported Sunday at around 11:30 a.m. The fire occurred on private ODF-protected land in logging slash and some standing trees.  Sunday afternoon a 10-mile stretch had been temporarily closed  as some 70 fire personnel from multiple agencies battled the blaze along with two helicopters and two single-engine air tankers. No structures were threatened.

ODF crews from Columbia City, Forest Grove and Astoria were aided by local fire departments from the towns of Clatskanie, Scappoose, and Vernonia as well as Washington County, Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, Mist-Birkenfeld Rural Fire Protection District, Knappa Fire District and Columbia River Fire and Rescue, and private landowner personnel.


According to ODF records, there have been 356 wildfires statewide so far this year on the 16 million acres of land protected by the agency. The fires have burned about 442 acres of ODF-protected land. About 82% of those wildfires have been caused by humans.  

Photo below: View of the aftermath of the Highway 47 Milepost 5 Fire outside of Clatskanie. Photo from Malcolm Hiatt, ODF.

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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 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.





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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.