Current situation

The week of June 17-23 is shaping up to be mostly sunny and dry across the state, with summerlike temperatures everywhere except the coast.

Six ODF districts and forest protective associations are in fire season - Walker-Range Forest Protective Association, Coos FPA, Douglas FPA and the Southwest Oregon, Central Oregon and Klamath-Lake ODF districts.

Fire restrictions associated with fire season can be found on the ODF Restrictions and Closures page at this link http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx

Monday, August 28, 2017

Crews continue building firelines on Chetco Bar Fire

Total acres burned on this fire stand at 107,993 acres. Approximately 18,000 of those have been on lands protected by ODF through the Coos Forest Protective Association.

Sunday afternoon, helicopters dropped water to slow the fire, helping firefighters who were working to hold the fire within containment lines and build additional direct and indirect containment line. Firefighters and heavy equipment worked to connect existing roads and dozer lines south and west of the fire. Crews also continued to assess buffer zones around houses and clear brush as needed to protect homes. They have moved into the Pistol River and Winchuk areas.

Chetco Bar Fire August 20 2017
Above: A red glow lights the night sky
above the Chetco Bar Fire in Curry County.
With 80 degree temperatures and 20 percent relative humidity, the fire burned actively overnight and crews worked spot fires on the west and south perimeter.

Today, firefighters will use an infrared heat-sensing device to locate, then suppress hot spots near the fire’s perimeter. As visibility and weather conditions allow, helicopters and aircraft will drop retardant and water to help slow the fire’s spread.

Due to very active fire behavior on the southwest side of the fire, Curry County Sheriff’s Office expanded and heightened evacuation levels for some residents. Evacuation information is online at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5385/.

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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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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.