Current situation

Heat returns to much of the state early this week, with air quality alerts from wildfire smoke for northwest Oregon and Josephine, Jackson, Klamath and Lake counties. Lightning sparked a number of wildfires over the weekend, with a chance for more through Monday in eastern Oregon.


Many ODF districts and forest protective associations are in high or extreme fire danger with tightened restrictions on activities linked to fire starts. Check ODF's fire restrictions and closures web page for the latest details at http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx.


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 www.dfpa.net

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 www.coosfpa.net

An interactive map with statewide fire restrictions can be viewed online at https://gisapps.odf.oregon.gov/firerestrictions/PFR.html 
 
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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 about current wildfires. Please keep your posts civil and free of profanity.

Current wildfire info

National weather forecasters are predicting the summer of 2018 will see above average temperatures and below average rainfall. Drought has already been declared in a number of counties in eastern and southern Oregon, with northwest Oregon also unusually dry for June. 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.

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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.