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.


































Sunday, August 27, 2017

At Chetco Bar Fire, work continues on firelines, defensible space for structures


Yesterday aerial support was hindered by poor visibility from smoke over the Chetco Bar Fire, which has grown to 107,993 acres. Most active burning on the fire occurred on the north, with the smoke column reaching 20,000 feet in the Johnson Butte area.There was also active fire in the Tin Cup area and around the East Fork of the Pistol River. Firefighters built and improved both direct and indirect fireline, scouted for opportunities for alternate firelines and improved roads to be used as firelines. They continued with structure protection efforts, including installing and maintaining hoselays, thinning and pulling flammable materials back from homes and structures.

Today, structural protection work will continue. Crews will also keep strengthening and mopping up containment lines on the southwestern corner of the fire. To the north and south, crews are scouting for and building direct and indirect fireline using existing roads, sparsely vegetated ridgetops and previously burned areas.

A community fire briefing will be held tonight (Sunday) at 6 p.m. at the Brookings-Harbor High School, 625 Pioneer Road in Brookings.

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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.