Current situation

Smoke from wildfires in British Columbia and Washington continue to affect air quality in much of northern Oregon today. Meanwhile, smoke from multiple wildfires again hovers over southwest Oregon. Mostly dry thunderstorms are predicted through Friday in southern and eastern Oregon, which could result in lightning-sparked fires.


Many ODF districts and forest protective associations are in high or extreme fire danger with tightened restrictions on activities linked to fire starts. Check ODF's fire restrictions and closures web page for the latest details at http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Initial attack successes are keeping acres burned below average


Overall, ODF is tracking closely to the 10-year average for numbers of fires at 399 fires on ODF-protected land.  In contrast, the number of acres burned to-date sits at less than 10 percent of the 10-year average. Currently 678 acres have burned on ODF-protected land compared to an average for this date of over 7,400.

"Our initial attack success so far this year has been exceptional," said ODF's Chief of Fire Protection Doug Grafe.

He said ODF has responded to fires every day in July. He highlighted ODF's Severity Program resources (mainly aviation assets, such as airtankers and helicopters) as critical in keeping fires small. 

"It takes a coordinated effort with our partners in the structure fire service, forest landowners, contractors and cooperating agencies to realize this type of success," Grafe said. "I’m grateful for that partnership.”

Fire risk remains a concern

Oregon’s fire protection system will be tested over the next several days with dry fuels and lightning predicted for much of southern Oregon and the Cascades through Monday. In response, ODF is utilizing the Severity Program to shift aviation resources and mobilize engines to areas where the greatest threat lies. 

The following fire danger/fuels link highlights the elevated threat of fire this week across eastern Oregon: https://www.predictiveservices.nifc.gov/fuels_fire-danger/fuels_fire-danger.htm

“As we enter the start of peak fire danger for the season, I appreciate all staff raising fire prevention awareness within their circles of influence," said Grafe.

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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 about current wildfires. Please keep your posts civil and free of profanity.

Current wildfire info

National weather forecasters are predicting the summer of 2018 will see above average temperatures and below average rainfall. Drought has already been declared in a number of counties in eastern and southern Oregon, with northwest Oregon also unusually dry for June. These conditions set the stage for potentially large, fast-moving wildfires.

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.