Current situation

Summer arrives this week, with maximum daylight hours. Having longer hours of sunshine allows more time for fuels to dry out with less overnight recovery of humidity.

ODF's Western Lane and South Cascade districts have announced both will enter fire season on Thursday, June 21. The districts protect lands in Lane and Linn counties and a portion of northwest Douglas County. Six other ODF districts and forest protective associations are already in fire season - Walker-Range Forest Protective Association, Coos FPA, Douglas FPA and the Southwest Oregon, Central Oregon and Klamath-Lake ODF districts.

Fire restrictions associated with fire season can be found on the ODF Restrictions and Closures page at this link http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx




Thursday, May 31, 2018

Fire season restrictions begin June 1st in parts of central and southwest Oregon


 
Above: Dry vegetation in much of central and southern
Oregon has prompted ODF district foresters there to declare
June 1 the start of their local fire season.
SALEM, Ore. - Starting at midnight on Friday, June 1, fire season and its associated restrictions will be in effect in the Southwest and Central Oregon districts of the Oregon Department of Forestry and the Walker Range Forest Protective Association. The declarations cover all of Jackson and Josephine counties in southern Oregon as well as Hood River and Grant counties, and portions of Crook, Deschutes, Gilliam, Harney, Jefferson, Morrow, Wasco, Wheeler and northern Klamath and northwestern Lake counties.

Local conditions dictate when fire risk reaches the level that fire restrictions start to become warranted. You can check whether fire season is in effect in your area and what restrictions or closures may be in place by visiting ODF's external website.
 
In announcing the start of fire season in Central Oregon, District Forester Mike Shaw said, "Across the district, spring has brought limited rainfall and right now we are seeing fuel conditions drier than they were at this time last year."
 
Southwest Oregon District Forester Dave Larson said, “The district’s hope is that going into fire season on June 1st will help curb the number of human-caused fires, especially escaped debris burn piles.”
 
Although the number of acres burned so far this year has been modest, there have already been more than 130 wildfires reported on land protected by ODF. About half that total has occurred in the districts entering fire season tomorrow.

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Smoke from wildfires

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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.