Current situation

Fire season on ODF-protected land has officially ended in all of Oregon as cooler temperatures and moister conditions settle over much of the state. This late in the fall, a key source of ignitions is fire escaping when piles of woody debris are burned. Care is required with that activity at any time of year.
































Monday, September 4, 2017

ODF Daily Fire Update - Monday, September 4, 2017


 

As the holiday week-end winds down, fire danger remains high to extreme

 

Red Flag Warnings continue across most of Oregon today, as well as continued extreme heat warnings and air quality alerts. Conditions on the ground remain ideal for new fire starts and extreme fire behavior on existing fires. Human-caused fires have continued to be an issue on Oregon’s forestlands. Please do all you can to help prevent human-caused wildfires. Know and follow the fire restrictions and closures for where you are located or will be traveling. To find that information on ODF-protected lands, go to http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx.

 

Preventing human-caused wildfires, keeping Oregon green, doing our part – share on and help spread the word: https://www.facebook.com/odfprevention/videos/699961523461728/.

 

As travelers return home today, a reminder that there are roads in Oregon that are impacted by wildfires and poor visibility due to smoky conditions. Take the extra time, watch for firefighters and equipment, and get the latest road conditions on www.tripcheck.com.

 

New wildfires on ODF-protected forestlands

There were no new wildfires 10 acres or larger reported on ODF-protected forestlands over the past 24 hours.

 

Updates on existing Oregon wildfires

Growth slowed on some large existing fires in Oregon and increased on others. There are now four wildfires or wildfire complexes in the state over 20,000 acres in size. ODF has personnel engaged in or closely monitoring many of those fires on lands not protected by ODF. Their primary mission is to help coordinate and ensure the protection of nearby ODF-protected lands.

 

For photos and more information on wildfires and wildfire readiness, please go to the department's wildfire blog.

 

Chetco Bar Fire - in Curry County

Oregon's largest wildfire is approximately 150,000 acres, of which at least 18,000 are land protected by ODF through the Coos Forest Protective Association, with containment remaining at 10 percent. There was no infrared flight again last night, therefore the acreage amount is an estimate today. There are more than 1,600 personnel assigned to this fire. Evacuations, and area, road, and trail closures in effect.

 

Horse Prairie Fire – Douglas Forest Protective Association

The Horse Prairie Fire is now estimated at 12,813 acres and 20 percent contained. Approximately 969 personnel are engaged on the fire which is located about 12 miles west of Riddle. There are Level 3 evacuations in effect for residences on portions of Lower Cow Creek and Doe roads, with local fire departments’ engines posted at all nine affected homes. Road and area closures also remain in effect.

 

Jade Creek Fire - Klamath-Lake District / Fremont-Winema National Forest

This lightning-caused fire is reported today at 782 acres and 15 percent contained (the updated, lower acreage estimate is due to more accurate mapping). The entire fire is now lined and there has been no growth outside of that fire perimeter. It is burning about 16 miles east of Bly on private land and land managed by the U.S. Forest Service in an area of sagebrush, grass, juniper, timber and logging slash. Approximately 200 personnel remain engaged on this fire. Road, trail, and area closures are in effect. Travelers on Highway 140 between Bly and Lakeview should be aware of decreased visibility due to smoke, intermittent road closures, and emergency response vehicles in the area.

 

Eagle Creek Fire – Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

The Eagle Creek Fire, which started on Saturday, September 2, about 2 miles south of Cascade Locks, is reported today at 3,200 acres. The fire has been determined to be human-caused and under investigation by the Oregon State Police. There are Level 1, 2, and 3 evacuations in place for Cascade Locks and near-by areas in both Hood River and Multnomah Counties. Road, trail, and area closures are also in effect. The Governor declared the fire a Conflagration last night, enabling additional structural resources to be assigned to this fire. As of this morning, no ODF-protected acreage is yet directly involved, however, the fire is still threatening ODF protection. An interagency incident management team (Type 2) has assumed command of the fire this morning and ODF is fully integrated with that team, as well as the State Fire Marshal, under Unified Command, and providing mutual aid resources. The team will also assume command of the near-by Indian Creek Fire. All hikers and campers in the area were accounted for and safely removed or led out yesterday. Note: Interstate Highway 84 may be impacted, closed, or delayed due to this fire; get the latest information on www.tripcheck.com.

 

Potato Hill Fire – Willamette National Forest

The Potato Hill Fire is burning about 20 miles northwest of Sisters, (near Highway 20/Lost Lake). The fire remains at approximately 199 acres today and 35 percent contained, Crews are engaged in mop-up within the fire perimeter as it smolders in heavy fuels. Smoke from this fire could impact Highway 20 visibility so the public is asked to travel slowly through the area, and watch out for firefighters working in the area.

 

Milli Fire - Deschutes National Forest

This lightning-caused fire remains at 22,527 acres, and containment rose to 60 percent. A total of approximately 1,334 acres of ODF-protected lands have burned within this fire’s perimeter, however firefighters had worked hard to keep the overall fire intensity low as the fire burned on to those private lands so as to minimize as much damage to those resources as possible. Level 1 evacuation notices remain in effect, as well as road, area, and trail closures. More than 300 personnel are engaged on the Milli and Nash fires. A community meeting regarding the Milli Fire will be held at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, September 5, at Sisters High School.

 

Nash Fire – Deschutes and Willamette National Forests

The incident management team on the Milli Fire is now also managing this fire (which had previously been included in the Horse Creek Complex). The fire is burning about 6 miles north of Elk Lake in the Three Sisters Wilderness Area along the crest of the Cascades. The fire is reported this morning at approximately 3,500 acres (an increase of 1,248 acres) and 0 percent contained. Evacuations, and area, road, and trail closures are in place. More than 300 personnel are engaged on the Milli and Nash fires.

 

Falcon Complex - Umpqua National Forest

There was no new growth reported on this fire, which remains at 2,935 acres size and containment at 55 percent. The fires are burning in timber roughly 17 miles north of Prospect in southern Oregon. The incident management team has successfully kept these lightning-caused fires from spreading to ODF-protected lands.

 

High Cascades Complex - in and around Crater Lake National Park

This large wildfire complex of 20 fires expanded yesterday, and is currently estimated at 37,800 acres and 26 percent contained. More than 650 people are engaged on these fires. Road, trail and area closures remain in effect.

 

Jones Fire - Willamette National Forest

This fire grew by 352 acres yesterday, and is now reported at 8,536 acres and remains 51 percent contained. An ODF branch is integrated with the interagency incident management team on this fire to protect private lands. More than 600 personnel are engaged on this fire which is located east of Springfield and about 10 miles northeast of the town of Lowell.

 

Miller Complex - Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest

This complex remained at 17,965 acres, with containment now at 35 percent. Evacuations and area, road, and trail closures are in place. The Complex is burning in southwest Jackson County in difficult, timbered terrain about 17 miles east of Cave Junction. ODF continues to actively engage here to keep these fires from spreading to lands protected by ODF. More than 600 personnel are engaged with this complex of fires.

 

North Pelican Fire - Fremont-Winema National Forest

This lightning-caused fire is reported today at 2,000 acres, an increase of 100 acres, and remains 18 percent contained. The fire is burning about 25 miles north of Klamath Falls and approximately 175 personnel are assigned.

 

Rebel Fire - Willamette National Forest

These three fires (Rebel – 7,157 acres, Pete – 51 acres, and Box Canyon fires – 27 acres) remain at a total of 7,237 acres and 19 percent contained. These fires are burning in the Three Sisters Wilderness 13 miles south of McKenzie Bridge. Road; trail, and area closures, and evacuations are in effect.

 

Staley Fire - Willamette National Forest

This fire remains at 2,234 acres and 76 percent contained. A forest closure for the fire area, including roads and trails, remain in effect on this lightning-caused fire, which is 23 miles south of Oakridge. More resources were released from this fire yesterday to go on to other fire assignments, and it was turned over to the IMT that is currently managing the Jones Fire.

 

Umpqua North Complex - Umpqua National Forest 

This large wildfire complex grew approximately 1,000 acres for a total of 28,344 acres, with containment increasing to 23 percent. More than 1,000 personnel are engaged on this complex of 15 lightning-caused fires that are located about 50 miles east of Roseburg along Highway 138.

 

Whitewater Fire - Willamette National Forest

These lightning-caused fires are burning in the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness Area about 15 miles east of Detroit. Four fires and their current respective estimated acreage amounts are included with this report: the Whitewater (10,554 acres), Little Devil (942 acres), Scorpion (284 acres), and French (2 acres) fires. The last total acreage on these four fires is reported as growing by 338 acres, bringing the total acres burned to 11,772, and they remain 33 percent contained. A total of over 700 personnel are engaged on these fires.

 

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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 snowpack at higher elevations which will take some time to melt. However, in the summer of 2017 a series of heatwaves and a prolonged stretch of dry weather created conditions that dried forest fuels, allowing fires to start and spread. The result was more than a thousand fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.Ninety-five percent of these 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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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.