Lightning is largely absent from Oregon this week. However, warm, dry weather will greet the hundreds of thousands of visitors arriving to see the eclipse of the sun on Aug. 21. Avoiding activities that can spark a wildfire is key to making the eclipse a safe and pleasant experience for all. One measure adopted to reduce the risk of wildfire is a temporary ban, now in effect, on all campfires in state parks

Thursday, August 3, 2017

PRINEVILLE, Ore. - The Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District increased restrictions today intended to reduce human-caused fires. Hot temperatures and lack of rain throughout central Oregon have dried fuels to record levels, making new fire starts difficult to control. Over the past week, fires across the region have challenged firefighters and strained resources.

"We are looking to reduce the potential of any new fires on the landscape," explains District Forester Mike Shaw, "we strongly encourage you to follow current fire restrictions and be mindful of all activities in the woods."

The increased restrictions limit activities such as mowing, chainsaw use and welding between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. when temperatures are hot and humidity is low.

So far this year, human-caused fires have accounted for 37 of the 56 fires in the Central Oregon District. Following restrictions can reduce ignitions and protect lives and limit damage to our natural resources, including air, water, and soil.

All ODF districts have announced the local fire danger to be high or extreme. The current fire danger level in each district and the restrictions in place for that district can be accessed at

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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 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 snowpack at higher elevations which will take some time to melt. However, even in non-drought years Oregon's warm, dry summers create conditions that allow for fire to start and spread. In an average summer firefighters still see almost a thousand fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.

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. There are about 30.4 million total 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.