Current situation

Sunny and dry conditions again prevail across Oregon this week. Mild temperatures will give way to warmer conditions, melting snow and drying fuels faster. This will raise fire risk across the state. There have already been twice as many wildfires on ODF-protected land compared to the same time last year, with more than twice as many acres burned.



May is Wildfire Awareness Month, a time when homeowners are urged to take steps to reduce the risk of wildfire around their house and other structures. Among these are clearing debris from roofs and gutters, cutting back brush from around structures, and removing lower branches from trees.








Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Eagle Creek and Indian Creek fires merge in the Columbia Gorge

The Eagle Creek and Indian Creek Fires in the Columbia River Gorge have merged and are now being managed as one incident. An infrared fly-over has estimated the combined fires to be 30,929 acres. After experiencing explosive fire behavior on the Eagle Creek Fire last night, firefighters were successful at holding fire growth to moderate levels Tuesday. A spot fire, which spread across the Columbia River early Tuesday near Archer Mountain, is approximately 120 acres today and is being managed by a Washington Department of Natural Resources Type 3 Team.

Structural firefighters led by the Oregon State Fire Marshal's Office saved the historic Multnomah Falls Lodge, built in 1925. A task force of structural engines and one aerial ladder truck worked in conjunction with a strike team of water tenders to keep the lodge wetted down during the fire storm of falling embers. Large trees nearby torched and fire crews used hose lines to protect the lodge from heat. Visit the Eagle Creek and Indian Creek Fires Facebook page to see pictures of the lodge.

Ian Yocum, Incident Commander with the Oregon State Fire Marshal said firefighters were successful in protecting other structures as well. “Firefighters had a good day out there. We lost one small residential structure and four outbuildings. We will continue to patrol and access structural protection needs.”

Defending private property, historical structures in the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area, the various State Parks in the area and the Bull Run Watershed will continue to be top priorities for firefighters.

The I-84 freeway remains closed from Troutdale to Hood River due to rocks, snags and other debris entering the roadway. Oregon Department of Transportation will be working closely with the Unified Command team to determine when it will be safe to open. Detour routes are in place.

Temperatures are expected to be cooler today, but a Red Flag Warning will be in effect in the afternoon for potential lightning. Winds will shift to westerly, which may help improve the unhealthy air quality in the greater Portland metropolitan area. Those west winds, however, could propel fire growth to the east of the current fire perimeter.

For real time and current evacuation information, please contact the sheriffs' offices in Multnomah, Hood River or Skamania County. 

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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.