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.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Further growth not expected on the Horse Prairie Fire

Above: Firefighters on the Horse Prairie Fire in Douglas County
continue strengthening firelines today.
RIDDLE, Ore. – Fire managers on the Horse Prairie Fire in Douglas County are reporting that further growth on the fire is not anticipated. The fire's size is 16,436 acres and containment is 30 percent. Today firefighters  will continue strengthening control lines and burning areas that were included in the constructed fire line but not consumed by the fire.  Burning these areas, now, in a controlled manner, with firefighters present, will help to prevent an unexpected fire flare-up after the main body of firefighters leaves.  Smoke from these burnouts will be visible from Cow Creek Road but not be a threat to the control line.

Last night the evacuation level along Cow Creek Road was reduced from Level 3 to Level 2.  Road blocks will remain staffed and residents may return without an escort from the Douglas County Sheriff’s.  Access to the public is restricted due to heavy fire truck traffic.

A trace of rain fell on the fire Wednesday night.  However, fire danger remains high.  Warmer temperatures and lower humidity have been forecast to return Monday.

The fire is staffed with 1,087 personnel.  The fire's Incident Command Post is located just east of Riddle.

Smoke remains in the area. To learn more about smoke in the area, log on to

Right: People living near the Horse Prairie Fire in southern Oregon showed their appreciation for firefighters with signs of all kinds.

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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 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.


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.