Current situation

Check with your local district or forest protection association for restrictions or use ODF's fire restrictions and closures web page for the latest details at

Monday, August 28, 2017

Horse Prairie Fire moves into steep, rugged terrain

The Horse Prairie Fire was reported this morning as 15 percent contained. The fire's size has grown to an estimated 750 acres. The fire started Saturday afternoon 15 miles northwest of Canyonville, burning in logging slash, stands of young trees and second-growth timber. Both private industrial forest lands and Bureau of Land Management forests are affected. No homes are currently threatened. 

Above: Northwest winds are pushing the Horse Prairie Fire
 south and east into more rugged terrain.
One factor in the fire's sudden growth was attributed to late detection because of the thick layer of smoke that has blanketed the valley from other fires in the area. Once detected, the fire had already grown to about 40 acres and was moving rapidly through logging debris, timber and felled and bucked logs. DFPA and fire crews from multiple agencies, industrial landowners and logging companies, worked non-stop Saturday night constructing hand and dozer lines in an effort to minimize fire spread.

 Containment lines along the north and west sides of the fire are holding. The fire is now being pushed by northwest winds to the south and east into steep, rugged terrain in the Table Creek drainage. High temperatures, low humidity and sustained northwest winds continue to challenge suppression efforts in that steep, roadless area.

ODF Incident Management Team 3 (Link Smith Incident Commander) has been in place since Sunday to assist the Douglas Forest Protective Association (DFPA) and its cooperators. The incident command post is located at Camas Valley, eight miles southeast of the fire.

Resources are at a premium due to the many fires burning throughout the Pacific Northwest. Even so, the team is working diligently through the regional multi-agency coordination group to bring in additional firefighters, aircraft and equipment.

Conditions over the weekend prevented air tankers and large type 1 helicopters from flying. However, six Type-2 helicopters with 300-plus gallon water buckets moved over the fire in rotation, but could not keep up with the rapid spread of the fire.

To stay current on any changes in fire activity, follow the fire on social media at or on the national incident reporting site known as Inciweb.



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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 predictions that Oregon would see above average temperatures and below average rainfall in the summer of 2018 proved true. Almost all of Oregon was abnormally dry this summer, with a majority of the state in moderate to severe drought. Many areas posted record high temperatures or record strings of hot days. 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.