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.


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. 

 

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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.