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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.

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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 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.

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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.