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.

Friday, July 14, 2017

ODF firefighters work to mop up fires in Klamath and Polk counties


Photo above: Flames consume brush and juniper trees
on the Buck Butte Fire southeast of Klamath Falls.
Photo by Bryson Williams, ODF.

Buck Butte Fire
Firefighters from ODF's Klamath-Lake District are busy today mopping up the 11-acre Buck Butte fire 17 miles SE of Klamath Falls. The Buck Butte fire began the afternoon of July 13 on private land, burning grass, brush and timber.  ODF's Klamath Falls office sent eight engines, a dozer and a hand crew, aided by an air attack plane, and two helicopters that dropped water on the fire. The U.S. Forest Service also responded to the fire.

Mop up on Buck Butte is being assisted by a contracted water tender and two 10-person inmate crews from the Warner Creek Correctional Institute north of Lakeview.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Riley Central Fire
In the West Oregon District work continues to mop up the Riley Central Fire. That fire burned about 40 acres of steep, wooded terrain outside Falls City, which is southwest of Dallas, Ore. The Riley Central Fire began on July 9. Firefighters from ODF's Dallas, Philomath and Toledo offices were involved in both the initial attack and the ongoing mop up this week. Private contractors and inmate crews from the South Fork Forest Camp east of Tillamook have assisted with the mop up.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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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.