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.

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:

“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.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Have a question/comment about this season's wildfire activity on the 16 million acres of private and public forestlands that the Oregon Dept. of Forestry protects from wildfire? Let us know. Please keep your remarks civil and free of profanity.

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

My photo
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.