Current situation

Check with your local district or forest protection association for restrictions or use ODF's fire restrictions and closures webpage for the latest details at

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Last Oregon Department of Forestry district goes into fire season June 28 in NE Oregon

LA GRANDE, Ore — With the start of fire season Thursday, June 28 in the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Northeast Oregon District, all lands protected by the state agency will be in a declared fire season.

Forecasted higher temperatures and drier conditions prompted ODF fire managers in the Northeast Oregon District to declare fire season for forest and range lands protected by ODF in Baker, Umatilla, Union and Wallowa counties along with small portions of Malheur, Morrow, and Grant counties.
Above: When fire season starts June 28 in northeast Oregon,
all lands statewide protected by ODF districts and
fire protection associations will be in fire season.

“Long range forecasts indicate high to extreme fire danger beginning in July and extending through September across the district,” Justin Lauer, Pendleton Wildland Fire Supervisor said. “The light fuels in the lower elevations will cure out quickly and carry fire readily.”

The fire season declaration places fire prevention restrictions on landowners and the public. Additionally, fire prevention regulations on industrial logging and forest management activities are put into place. Lands affected include private, state, county, municipal, and tribal lands within the Northeast Oregon Forest Protection District. This area encompasses approximately 2 million protected acres. The public are urged to use caution in areas of dry, cured vegetation.

Lauer stated, “It’s easy to be complacent when we’ve had a few days of storms, but fuel conditions and weather will change rapidly. We need everyone to use caution, check regulations before they head out and keep an eye out for fires while they’re out and about.”

During fire season in northeast Oregon:

• Burn permits for burn barrels and all open burning except camp fires are required on all private forest and range lands within the Northeast Forest Protection District of the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF). Contact your local ODF office in La Grande, Baker City, Wallowa, or Pendleton to acquire a burn permit.

• Landowners who conducted burning of slash piles last fall and this spring are encouraged to check the piles to ensure they are completely out and all heat is gone. It is not uncommon for recently burned slash piles to retain heat in them for several months after the actual burning of the piles.

• Logging and other industrial operations must meet requirements for fire prevention, such as fire tools, water supply, and watchman service when those operations are occurring on lands protected by ODF. Contact your local Stewardship Forester at any ODF office for more information.

• Campfires must be dead out! Recreationists are reminded that campfires need to be attended and fully extinguished before being left. Get permission from the landowner prior to starting a campfire.

For further information on fire restrictions and closures, go to this ODF web page at or contact the nearest ODF office.

To report a fire, dial 9-1-1.

                                                                                  # # #

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Graham Fire in mop up

Above: Firefighters are completing control lines
and mopping up on the Graham Fire northeast of Sisters.
Over 300 personnel have been engaged on the fire,
which was stopped at 2,175 acres.
SISTERS, Ore. - After three days with no additional perimeter growth and well-established control lines, the ODF Incident Management Team 2 will be handing management of the Graham Fire in Jeffeson County back to Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District Wednesday morning, June 27. Control lines around the fire’s perimeter have been mopped up to at least 50 feet. However, local residents may still expect to see occasional smoke from pockets of unburnt fuel smoldering in the fire’s interior. If residents see flames or spot fires they are advised to call 911.

Resources on the fire today include: 10 hand crews, 2 helicopters, 17 engines, 1 dozer, 3 water tenders and 338 personnel. Containment is estimated at 85 percent
ODF’s Central Oregon District will continue the use of additional engines and fire crews to achieve 100-percent containment. The district strategies will include daily engine patrols and mop up operations.

The Graham Fire was a hot, fast-moving wildfire driven by strong winds, dry conditions and light flashy fuels that burned in the wildland urban interface in and around the community of Three Rivers. The firestorm torched trees and produced 100-foot flame lengths. Thanks to the responsive efforts of local wildland and structural suppression forces, as well as prior defensible space created by local residents, the fire was held to 2,175 acres.

Team 2 fire managers leave behind an excellent safety record. More than 300 personnel were assigned to the incident and no injuries were reported.
ODF’s Central Oregon District will continue to provide occasional updates on the fire status.



Monday, June 25, 2018

CULVER, Ore. - Strong containment lines and diligent mop up operations have kept the perimeter of the Graham Fire in check. After two days with no new fire growth, the Jefferson County Sherriff has lowered the evacuation level to 1 (READY) and is allowing residents to return to their homes. The fire has burned 2,175 acres and is estimated at 65% containment.

Above: Fire crews are focusing on mopping up the
Graham Fire, which scorched 2,175 acres
south of Lake Billy Chinook in central Oregon.
Fire managers are focused on strengthening control lines and continuing mop up operations. Mop-up involves firefighters digging out hot spots and extinguishing all remaining heat. Crews start on the fire perimeter and move toward the center. It’s hard, methodical and dirty work but technology makes it more efficient. Firefighters use heat seeking cameras with infra-red technology to identify where the heat is hiding below ground.

“We will be judged by how well we leave this fire for the local district and residents. Mop up is hard dirty work. But it’s critically important to do it well. When we mop up right, we can hand the fire back to the local district knowing the perimeter will hold,” said Team 2 Incident Commander Chris Cline.  

Seventy five people attended the public meeting last night at the Chinook Store, in Culver, east of the fire. The residents were very appreciative of their local volunteer fire fighters and the efforts of the Incident Management Team. Lake Chinook Fire Chief Don Colfels encouraged local residents to create 30 feet of defensible space around their homes to help it survive a wildfire.

Resources on the fire today include 13 engines, 3 water tenders, 1 dozer,  5 helicopters and 7 hand crews. A total of 307 personnel are engaged on the fire. 
For more information visit:

Central Oregon Fire Info :

# # #

Friday, June 22, 2018

ODF is engaged on the Graham Fire in central Oregon

Private lands protected by ODF and Lake Chinook Fire and Rescue, as well as some BLM lands, are affected by the Graham Fire in central Oregon, which Gov. Brown has declared a Conflagration. The 2,055-acre Graham Fire is located in southern Jefferson County north of Sisters and south of Lake Billy Chinook. The fire was reported at around 1:30 p.m. Thursday, June 21. It is burning in an area of grass, brush and scattered juniper. Hundreds of homes are located in developments in the area. The Jefferson County Sheriff issued Level 3 evacuation orders (GO!) yesterday for many residences in the Three Rivers subdivision threatened by the fire. Those are still in effect. The threat to homes also qualifies the fire for partial reimbursement of suppression costs by FEMA.

Local firefighters have been engaged on the fire since yesterday, joined by structural teams from the Oregon Office of the State Fire Marshal. Ground forces have been aided by aerial resources including single-engine airtankers and heavy airtankers.  Good progress was made overnight towards containment. The fire has burned into some complex canyon terrain, where it will take additional efforts to establish containment lines. 

Central Oregon Fire Management Service (COFMAS) Type 3 Team has been managing the wildland fire operations since last night, with the Oregon Office of the State Fire Marshal Green Team in charge of structural firefighting activities since midnight because of the threat to homes in the area.
ODF is sending its Incident Management Team 2 to the fire. The Team, headed by South Cascade District Forester Chris Cline, will arrive at 3 p.m. today for an in-briefing from the local team. The plan is for ODF to take unified command of the fire at 6 p.m. today with the OSFM Green Team.

Multiple resources are on scene and firefighters will continue to mop up around structures, flank the edge of the fire and try to contain the fire that is pushing to the northeast through Big Canyon. Additional resources have been ordered and are arriving today. Warm temperatures are anticipated in the next few days along with the return of windy conditions, which will continue to push firefighters working on the fire.

Residents and the public are reminded not to cross roadblocks into evacuation areas. Some structures may have been damaged by the fire, but due to safety concerns firefighters have not been able to investigate all areas of the fire. For further information regarding evacuations, please refer to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Facebook site or call the Jefferson County Sheriff at 541-475-6520. Oregon State Fire Marshal is assessing properties within the fire boundary.
Updated information for the Graham Fire is available on InciWeb-
Statewide, there is a continuing risk of holdover fires from the recent lightning storms that passed over many parts of Oregon. Winds are expected to pick up on the east slopes of the Cascades and into the basins on the east side. With schools out and late June weekends being a traditional time when many Oregonians head for the outdoors, fires started by humans are also a cause for concern.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

2018 Mid-Willamette Valley Interagency Wildland Fire School begins Monday, June 25 in Sweet Home, Oregon

Above: Firefighters train at last year's Interagency
Wildland Fire School, which is again being held
in Sweet Home the last week in June.
SWEET HOME, Ore. – Oregon Department of Forestry personnel will be among over 200 wildland firefighters and instructors convening in Sweet Home at the end of June to take part in the annual five day Mid-Willamette Valley Interagency Wildland Fire School. Officials from the U.S. Forest Service, Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are hosting the training to prepare new firefighters for fighting fire, both in Oregon's forests and in rural-urban interface areas.
Co-Incident Commanders Shawn Sheldon, Deputy Fire Staff for the BLM and Willamette National Forest; and Craig Pettinger, Unit Forester for ODF in Sweet Home, see fire school as an opportunity to train firefighters in both tactical skills and safety.
“This is the 22nd year our agencies have collaborated for this,” said Sheldon. “Fire School provides crucial education and training in wildland fire to new firefighters and gives career firefighters a chance to refresh their skills and explore leadership opportunities."  
Trainees will spend the first part of the week in a classroom. Classes include basic fire behavior, weather, map and compass use, teamwork, safety, use of engines, tools and hose lays, fighting fire in the rural-urban interface and fire investigation. Students will sleep in tents at Sweet Home High School and eat meals together, giving them a taste of life in a real fire camp.
The course is capped with a live fire exercise on Friday, June 29 just outside of Sweet Home. This will give trainees a final challenge: applying their newly acquired skills to suppress and mop-up a real fire.
“Cascade Timber Consulting, Inc., a local landowner, provides a new field site each year and we are very grateful,” added Sheldon. “The live fire exercise significantly enhances the students’ training experience – working in smoke, hiking through uneven terrain, and working closely with crew members to dig fireline, are all things they’ll experience this season as wildland firefighters.”

Safety principles of fire training include wearing protective gear, safe use of tools and being on the lookout for hazards. “Safety is paramount in every aspect of wildland firefighting, and it begins with our training exercises,” explained Pettinger.  "Working together in a training setting improves communications and builds effective relationships for the agencies to draw on during fire season."

This year, the field site that will be used for the live fire exercise is located approximately 5 miles east of Sweet Home adjacent to Highway 20. Fire officials are urging the public to use caution as there will be increased fire traffic in the area and the potential for visible smoke on Friday, June 29. For more information, please contact Public Information Officers Chiara Cipriano, (541) 731-4427, or Jim Gersbach, (503) 945-7425.
# # #

Three fire protection districts from the coast to the Cascades enter fire season

SALEM, Ore. — Three Oregon Department of Forestry fire protection districts from the mid-coast through the southern Willamette Valley to the crest of the Cascades entered fire season beginning Thursday, June 21. ODF-protected lands covered by the declaration include state, private, county, and city forestland, as well as Bureau of Land Management (BLM) forestlands in western Oregon.

The West Oregon, Western Lane and South Cascade districts protect lands in Benton, Lane, Lincoln, Polk, southern Linn County and a portion of northwest Douglas County.
An unusually dry May and early June prompted the declarations. 

Above; Despite recent showers, much of the southern and central
Willamette Valley and surrounding foothills are dry enough 
to prompt state fire officials to declare fire season started.

 “We’ve received a couple shots of rain recently, but that doesn’t make up for the dry spring we’ve experienced this year. The result is that we are a couple weeks ahead of where we traditionally are regarding fuel moistures and fire conditions in the forest,” said Western Lane District Forester Link Smith.

Chris Cline is district forester for ODF’s South Cascade District based in Springfield. He said fuel moistures in eastern Lane and southern Linn counties are already similar to what they historically would be for the beginning of July. “We look carefully at local conditions in determining when to declare the start of fire season. What they are telling us is that in our district it is now dry enough for wildfires that do start to have the potential to spread more rapidly.”
As of June 20, more than 200 wildfires were reported on ODF-protected lands throughout Oregon. These burned just over 200 acres. More than 80% of those fires were caused by people. In light of those numbers, West Oregon District Forester Mike Totey said, “Most wildfires at this time of year are triggered by people, so they are almost entirely preventable with some foresight. An activity that might be low risk when vegetation is thoroughly soaked and humidity is high could ignite a wildfire when longer hours of sunlight, warmth and relatively light rainfall have started drying those fuels out.”
Fire restrictions in ODF districts vary somewhat. To find out what restrictions are in place at any given location, go online to ODF’s statewide fire restrictions and closures page at or call the ODF office below that is nearest:

·       Western Lane (Veneta) – 541-935-2222

·       West Oregon (Philomath) – 541-929-6300 and press 1

·       South Cascade – (Springfield) – 541-726-3588 and press 2
Six other ODF districts and forest protective associations in southern and eastern Oregon have been in fire season since earlier this month due to warm, dry conditions that have elevated fire risk.
                                                                                  # # #

ODF responds to fire in Columbia Gorge

Above: ODF responded overnight
to a fire high above I-84 near Mitchell Point
in the Columbia River Gorge.
ODF's Central Oregon District is responding to a fire that started overnight on state parkland in the Columbia River Gorge near Mitchell Point in Hood River County. The fire is estimated at less than one acre and is burning on steep terrain not far from the footprint of last year's Eagle Creek Fire. Spread of the fire has been stopped. Two ODF engines are on scene along with 2 fire engines from the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and an engine each from the City of Hood River Fire Department and the Westside Fire Department. Cause of the fire is not yet known.
The Oregon Department of Transportation has temporarily closed the right eastbound lane of Interstate 84 in that area. Please use caution.


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Governor declares two more Oregon counties to be in drought

SALEM, Ore. — Gov. Kate Brown announced on June 18 a drought emergency for Baker and Douglas counties due to low snowpack and precipitation, low streamflows and warming temperatures. The declaration comes in the last week of spring as Oregon braces for summer wildfires.
Above: Spring flowers belie the fact that drought has
officially been declared in Klamath County
along with four others in eastern Oregon and
Douglas County in southern Oregon.  
Drought conditions have been intensifying in eastern Oregon, with drought emergencies already declared in Grant, Harney, Klamath and Lake counties. Douglas County is the first county west of the Cascades to receive a drought declaration.

“All signs point to another record-breaking drought and wildfire season for Oregon,” Gov. Brown said. “That means we must continue our urgent work to build communities that are ready for the challenges of climate change. I have directed state agencies stand ready to help and work with local communities to provide assistance."

Forecasted water conditions are not expected to improve, and drought is likely to have significant impacts on agriculture, livestock, natural resources, and the local economies. Baker and Douglas County officials requested the state to take action, and the Oregon Drought Council considered the counties' requests by weighing current water conditions, future climatic forecasts, and agricultural impacts.

The Governor's drought declaration allows increased flexibility in how water is managed to ensure that limited supplies are used as efficiently as possible. Oregon's state agencies will continue to work with local governments and other partners to coordinate efforts and mobilize actions to address drought-related issues. The Governor's drought declaration authorizes state agencies to expedite water management tools to which users would not otherwise have access.

As state and local officials coordinate with federal partners, conditions will be closely monitored by the state's natural resource and public safety agencies, including the Oregon Water Resources Department and the Oregon Office of Emergency Management.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Six ODF districts or FPAs are in fire season

Currently, six ODF districts and fire protective associations are in fire season:
  • Coos Forest Protective Association
  • Douglas Forest Protective Association
  • Walker Range Forest Protective Association
  • Central Oregon District
  • Klamath-Lake District
  • Southwest Oregon District
For most Lane County residents, today (Friday, June 15) marks the last day for outdoor burning until October, according to the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency (LRAPA). The end of outdoor burning is due to elevated fire danger during the summer months. Outdoor burning is not expected to resume until the end of wildfire season this autumn.

During the closed season, yard debris may be disposed of at one of several local debris collection or recycling centers such as, Lane Forest Products, Rexius Forest By-Products, or Lane County’s transfer stations and dump sites. Composting and chipping are always encouraged and many residents in the urban growth boundaries of Eugene and Springfield also have option to use curbside yard debris pick up.

Residents who burn during the closed season are subject to violations ranging from $50 to $2,500 or more. "The average residential open burning fine runs about $300, depending upon the size of the fire and materials being burned," said Jo Niehaus, LRAPA Spokesperson. "Illegal burning during the dry summer months also increases the risk of wildfires that can damage property and destroy homes."

Backyard debris burning - which includes burn piles and burn barrels - is one of the leading causes of human-caused wildfires in Oregon.

Some Lane County residents can expect to see the outdoor burning season reopen in October with a new change. Residents living inside the Eugene Urban Growth Boundary but outside the City Limits of Eugene must be on 2 acres or larger to burn in the fall.

The Lane County Fire Defense Board will decide if the season will open on time on the first of October or delay opening due to high fire risks. People can check on the season’s status by going online at or calling the LRAPA daily open burning advisory line, (541) 726-3976. Coastal residents may call (541) 997-1757.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Fire season begins June 8 in Klamath-Lake and Douglas, Coos FPAs

Above: Firefighters across Oregon have already
been busy battling numerous small fires.
Here, firefighters from the Douglas Forest
Protective Association work to put out
the 1.5-acre Formosa Mine Fire near Riddle.
The Douglas Forest Protective Association, Coos Forest Protective Association and ODF's Klamath-Lake District have announced that their 2018 fire seasons will begin Friday, June 8. The three join the Walker Range Forest Protective Association and ODF's Southwest and Central Oregon districts, which declared the start of their fire seasons on June 1.

The declaration of fire season imposes certain fire restrictions on both the general public and industrial operators to help prevent wildfires. The restrictions apply to all private, county, state, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Indian Affairs lands protected against fire by these entities. DFPA protects those lands in Douglas County. The Klamath-Lake District protects much of Klamath and western Lake counties in south-central Oregon. Coos FPA protects Curry, Coos and coastal portions of western Douglas County.

The start of fire season means debris burning is now prohibited. Those wishing to burn yard debris before Friday's fire season start are encouraged to exercise caution and never leave a burn unattended. Fire officials recommend checking any debris piles that were burned earlier this year to make sure they are completely out. If not thoroughly extinguished, burn piles have the potential to smolder for weeks or even months, popping back to life on warm, windy days.  

The use of exploding targets and tracer ammunition is also prohibited during fire season. Sky lanterns are prohibited year-round throughout Oregon. 

Fire season also means the start of industrial fire regulations. On Friday, the entire Douglas and Coos FPAs will go into Industrial Fire Precaution Level I (one.)  During IFPL I, smoking is prohibited while working on, or traveling through, an industrial operation.  In addition, specified fire tools and suppression equipment must be on site and ready for use at all operations.  A fire watch service is also required when work ends for the day.

In Klamath-Lake District, regulated use is in effect for lands protected by the district which are within half a mile of the Klamath River from the Keno Dam to the Oregon/California border.

As fire season progresses, additional public and industrial fire restrictions may be imposed as fire conditions become more severe.

For more information:

On lands protected by Douglas FPA:
- call their Closure Information Line at 541-672-0379 or visit

On lands protected by the Klamath-Lake District:
- for Klamath County call 541-883-5681
- for Lake County call 541-947-3311

On lands protected by Coos FPA:
- call Coos Closure Information Line at 541-267-1789 or visit

An interactive map with statewide fire restrictions can be viewed online at 
# # #

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

No further growth expected on 42-acre fire outside Scappoose

Above: Smoke rises from the Chapman Grange Road No. 1 Fire.
The fire was reported Sunday and is now 100% lined.
The 42-acre fire outside Scappoose highlights how dry conditions
 are for this time of year in northwest Oregon.
SCAPPOOSE, Ore. - Oregon Department of Forestry firefighters have finished control lines around 100% of the Chapman Grange Road No. 1 Fire seven miles northwest of Scappoose. No more growth is expected on the fire, which has been mapped at 42 acres. On Monday morning firefighters burned out 3-4 acres to tie the fire together. 
The fire was reported on Sunday afternoon , June 3 by a Life Flight helicopter taking a patient to Portland. Scappoose Rural Fire Protection District engaged in the initial attack before transferring the fire to ODF. Vernonia Rural Fire District assisted with a water tender. ODF's Forest Grove Unit also supplied a water tender.

During the fire's first 24 hours it actively spotted 30 to 50 feet in all directions ahead of the flames, even on the backing side.  It pushed more than 100 feet into the timber across 12-foot wide gravel roads before slowing down and burning in 5 to 6-foot high green Douglas-fir trees.
"Those young Douglas-firs and the green underbrush burned amazingly well for this time of year.  Multiple duffy stumps in the timber within 50 feet of the control lines were receptive to embers. Once heated, fire spread to the surrounding vegetation even at 1 a.m.," said ODF's Columbia City Unit Forester Malcolm Hiatt. 

According to Hiatt, along streams the fire behaved normally for what fire managers would expect in June, but in all other fuel types the fire acted like it was the second week of August. Across much of northwest Oregon, rainfall has been only a fraction of normal for May and early June, leading to fuel moisture levels that are at or near historic lows for this date. 

Working on the fire today are one Type 6 engine from Astoria and one Type 6 engine from Columbia City along with two water tenders and 4 South Fork crews. ODF also has a  log loader on order to help tear apart some landing piles.

Hiatt said firefighters hope to have 50 feet mopped in on all sides by the end of shift Tuesday. Mop up will continue for the rest of the week with a reduction in resources starting with Wednesday's day shift. There have been no injuries or accidents and no structures were threatened by the fire. 


Monday, June 4, 2018

ODF is continuing suppression on slash fire outside Scappoose

FOREST GROVE, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Forestry’s Columbia City Unit is fighting a fire in logging slash on private land about 7 miles northwest of Scappoose this morning in the Chapman Grange Road area. No structures are threatened.
Above: Handcrews work on controlling a fire in logging slash on private land
about 7 miles northwest of Scappoose. The fire was reported Sunday afternoon.
Four hand crews from South Fork Forest Camp, three ODF fire engines and a water tender are engaged today on the fire, which is burning in steep, rugged terrain. About 50 personnel are currently on site. The Chapman Road No. 1 Fire was estimated at about 30 acres this morning. Control lines are in place around about half the fire. A controlled burnout is being conducted to reduce fuels in the center of the fire area.
The fire was reported Sunday, June 3 after 4 p.m.  Scappoose Fire District located the fire and provided aggressive initial attack.  ODF was on scene with a joint command structure at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, and assumed full command of the fire at 10 p.m.
Some 48 firefighters worked on the fire through the night, including assistance from the Vernonia Rural Fire Department and four South Fork inmate crews.  Cause of the fire is under investigation.
Before sunset Sunday, the fire was spotting 30-50 feet away from the flame front with sustained winds of 11 miles per hour and 50% relative humidity.
Fire managers expect the fire will burn much of Monday as they work to contain it, making smoke visible from surrounding communities. The area is experiencing light winds from the northwest with a 20% chance of showers in the afternoon.

                                                                                    # # #

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 about current wildfires. Please keep your posts civil and free of profanity.

Current wildfire info

National weather forecasters predictions that Oregon would see above average temperatures and below average rainfall in the summer of 2018 proved true. Almost all of Oregon was abnormally dry this summer, with a majority of the state in moderate to severe drought. Many areas posted record high temperatures or record strings of hot days. These conditions set the stage for potentially large, fast-moving wildfires.

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

My photo
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.