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Sunday, August 27, 2017

ODF dispatches Incident Management Team 3 to manage the Horse Prairie Fire in Douglas County

ODF's Incident Management Team 3 takes command at noon today of the Horse Prairie Fire, following briefings by the Douglas Forest Protective Association, which requested the team.
Above: Flames race through a stand of young trees over the
weekend at the Horse Prairie Fire. Photo by Kyle Reed, DFPA. 
The Horse Prairie Fire started Saturday afternoon 12 miles west of Riddle and eight miles southeast of Camas Valley, where the incident command post will be located. The fire's size is estimated at about 450 acres. The fire is burning on both private industrial forest lands and Bureau of Land Management forest lands, which including stands of young trees, second growth timber and logging slash.  No homes are currently threatened by the fire. 
Overnight, fire crews from multiple agencies, industrial landowners and logging companies worked on suppression efforts. Crews focused their efforts in creating fire trails around the perimeter of the fire, utilizing bull dozers and hand crews. As of Sunday morning, approximately three quarters of the fire has been trailed. In addition to the wildland fuels burned by the fire, several pieces of logging equipment in a nearby operation were destroyed by the Horse Prairie Fire.
Today, firefighters will work on creating fire trails around the southern edge of the fire, which is currently uncontained. Additional crews will work to improve and secure existing fire trails around the remaining portions of the fire. Fire resources assigned to the Horse Prairie Fire today include 173 firefighters, six water tenders, four bull dozers, one excavator, four type 2 helicopters and one type 3 helicopter.
The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for the area, due to the predicted hot, dry and unstable atmosphere conditions over the fire. These atmospheric conditions have the potential to influence fire growth on the Horse Prairie Fire or any new fire start.
Safety for both the public and firefighters remains the number one priority. Fire officials are asking the public to stay out of the fire area and be aware of the increase in fire traffic in the Tenmile and Camas Valley areas.

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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.

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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.