Fires in the Garner Complex in Josephine County have burned close to a 1,000 acres since Sunday. ODF Incident Management Team 2 has taken command of the Complex to allow the Southwest Oregon District to focus on dozens of other lightning-sparked wildfires. While temperatures in many parts of Oregon won't be quite as hot today, conditions are drier than normal for this time of year. The U.S. Drought Monitor reports that 99% of Oregonians live in areas that are abnormally dry or in moderate drought, with southeast Oregon already in severe drought.
Many ODF districts and forest protective associations have raised their fire danger level and 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, July 18, 2018
"The wildfire season has escalated in Oregon much earlier normal, and crews are working around the clock to keep homes and resources safe," Gov. Kate Brown said. "Given drought conditions and hotter than usual temperatures, Oregonians should be prepared for an intense wildfire season this year. I'm committed to making state resources available to ensure crews have the resources they need, and I also urge the public to be mindful of fire restrictions and use caution this summer to help keep Oregon green."
Operation Plan Smokey is an agreement between the ONG and the ODF that allows guard resources to be deployed to assist in wildfire management and suppression. Additionally, the emergency declaration allows Office of Emergency Management to coordinate with other states for assets if needed in the future.
Most of the snags that posed a threat to firefighter safety have now been removed, although some large hazard trees remain. Smoke can still be seen rising from some of these fire-damaged trees.
Visitors to Silver Falls State Park will find pleasant conditions. Light smoke may be visible at times, but heavy smoke is unlikely. Other fires burning in the region may be responsible for increased haze in the area. While some closures remain in the Park, the Ranches have reopened. No scheduled events are being interrupted. The Park's landmark waterfalls remain fully accessible to visitors during normal Park hours.
Ground and aerial resources are being used to fight the fires, which were caused by lightning. This morning there were nine fire engines, two water tenders, seven dozers, eight helicopters and 18 hand crews assigned to the fire. With dozens of wildfires in southern Oregon and five other incident management teams from different agencies deployed in the region, finding fire crews, air support and equipment is a challenge.
The team managing the fires plan to fully contain the smaller fires in the complex, construct firelines around the larger ones and keep looking for any new fires in the area.
Among the fires in the complex are the Grave Creek Fires, Spencer Creek Fires and Pleasant Creek Fire.
For more information about the Garner Complex fires, go online to https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5935/
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
The Team will be operating out of an incident command post in the community of Merlin, north of Grants Pass. Led by Incident Commander Chris Cline, the team is responsible for fires within the Garner Complex, including:
Grave Creek Fires
Four fires are in this group. The fires are about 17 miles north of the town of Rogue River in the vicinity of Upper Grave Creek Road several miles east of Wolf Creek and visible from the community of Wimer. No structures are threatened. The total area of the fires is estimated at 115 acres. The fire with the most potential to spread today is Grave Creek Fire No. 3. Getting control of this fire is the top priority for firefighters. Aerial and ground resources are continuing to aggressively attack these fires as they work lengthen current control lines along the flanks. Winds along ridgelines will test those control lines today.
Pleasant Creek Fire
Located 15 miles north of Rogue River, this fire is estimated at 60 acres. Ground resources are working to build lines around the fire today while aircraft work to cool off the leading edge of the fire to stop further spread. No structures are threatened.
Spencer Creek Fires
This is a group of about three fires approximately 12 miles south of Grants Pass. The fires are highly visible from I-5 and Grants Pass, Applegate, Williams and the Illinois Valley. The combined size of the fires is estimated at 105 acres. Two of the fires were lined overnight. However, Spencer Creek Fire No. 3 is pushing firefighters to their limits. No structures are threatened.
The Southwest Oregon District is working to knock down and contain other fires in the area, including fires in the Wagner Creek Complex in Jackson County. Among these fires are:
Green Top Mountain
This fire 5 miles northeast of Eagle Point is holding at 125 acres. Firefighters completed control lines around the perimeter of the fire Monday night. Containment now stands at 45 percent. Ground-based firefighters and aircraft will continue to knock down interior heat today.
Located 7 miles south of Jacksonville, this fire is estimated at about 100 acres. The fire is 30 percent contained. Ground forces and aircraft will continue knocking down flames inside the perimeter of the fire today.
Trail Creek and Elk Creek Drainage
Multiple fires are burning in the area surrounding Cleveland Ridge, Elk Creek and the Trail Creek area, which is roughly 5.5 miles north to northwest of Shady Cove. There are about 10 confirmed fires on ODF-protected land within the drainage, the largest of which is estimated at 20 acres. Several fires within the drainage were lined on Monday, including an 18-acre fire. Several of the fires are one acre or less in size. Overall the fires are 50 percent contained. Crews will continue to attack any remaining active fires today. No structures are threatened.
|Above: Smoke rises from the Silver Creek Fire. The heavily |
forested location away from roads and trails has made
firefighters job more difficult. Despite that, firefighters
were able to completely encircle the fire.
The fire, which is in a remote southeast part of Silver Falls State Park, is mapped at 27 acres. No further growth is expected. Firefighters have succeeded in building control lines completely around the fire, which is now 55 percent contained.
Investigators have officially determined the cause of the Silver Creek Fire was lightning, most likely from a storm that passed over the area on June 18. Known as a lightning holdover, the fire smoldered for several weeks before emerging during a windy period with high temperatures, low relative humidity and drier fuels on the ground.
While Howard Creek horse camp, the 214 Trailhead and several back-country trails remain closed, the Ranches have reopened and there are no interruptions to scheduled events. Waterfall areas remain accessible to visitors during normal park hours. Visitors may notice light smoke at times, but the fire is not anticipated to produce heavy smoke.
For the next several days crews will continue mopping up around the fire perimeter. This involves working from the fire's edge into the fire's interior, ensuring all heat has been extinguished. Mop-up is especially challenging on this fire because of thick brush, a heavy layer of duff and dangerous snags. Firefighters have been carefully removing large snags around the fire's perimeter. Night crews have used infrared cameras to help identify hot spots. Fire managers anticipate maintaining current staffing levels for the next several days to continue this work and secure the fire area. No injuries or fatalities have been reported over the course of the fire.
Photos and videos from July 14-15 remain available online at
NOTE: The Memaloose Fire broke out July 6, 2018 near the rest stop about 10 miles east of Hood River in the Central Oregon District's The Dalles unit. ODF firefighters and agencies throughout the Columbia River Gorge responded to the fire. The fast-moving blaze eventually grew to 74 acres and prompted evacuation orders of nearby residents before being stopped by ground and aerial forces.
Besides ODF, responders to the Memaloose Fire included Wasco County Sheriff, Hood River County Sheriff, Hood River County's Immediate Needs Task Force, Klickitat County (Washington) Rural Fire Department Engine Strike Team, fire departments from Wasco and Sherman counties, Mosier Fire Department, Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue, Bureau of Land Management, Oregon State Police, Oregon Department of Transportation, Oregon Travel Experience, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, U.S. Forest Service, and Washington Department of Natural Resources.
Monday, July 16, 2018
The outbreak has pushed the cumulative number of fires on lands protected by ODF to 429 so far this year, well above the 10-year average of 321. Total acres burned - an estimated 5,000 acres - are still in line with the 10-year average of 5,155 acres.
ODF's Southwest Oregon District reported approximately 1,000 lightning strikes during the storm. About 55 new fires have been reported in that district, with planes continuing to scout for the tell-tale smoke of new ignitions.
The district has grouped the fires into two complexes:
Garner Complex in Josephine County
Wagner Creek Area: ODF is not engaged with this wildfire because it is on U.S. Forest Service land in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. The fire is highly visible from I-5.
Green Top Mountain: 5 miles northeast of Eagle Point, this fire is estimated at 125 acres. This morning roughly 90% of the perimeter control line was complete and the fire was 5% contained.
Sterling Creek: Estimated at 100 acres, this fire is 7 miles south of Jacksonville but no structures are threatened. About 55% of the perimeter control line is complete and the fire is 5% contained. There was a roughly 4-acre spot fire this morning that has already been knocked down. Ground and aerial resources are engaged.
Trail Creek and Elk Creek drainages: Multiple fires are burning in the area surrounding Cleveland Ridge, Elk Creek and the Trail Creek area, which is roughly 5.5 miles north to northwest of Shady Cove. The largest fire in the area is estimated at 10 acres. Ground and aerial resources are engaged . No structures are threatened.
Douglas County Fires
The Douglas Forest Protective Association responded to five fires reported on Sunday in Douglas County. All but one were kept to less than an acre. The fifth - the Canyon Creek Fire four miles south of Canyonville - has proved more difficult to contain because of steep terrain and heavy fuels. About 30 firefighters a dozer and two helicopters worked on Sunday to install hose lays around the fire, and cool the perimeter, with work continuing Monday.
Sunday, July 15, 2018
The fire, which was first reported burning inside Silver Falls State Park July 12, is in the Howard Creek drainage. This is a remote, steep, timbered area over a mile from the park's boundary. Initial acreage estimates were hampered by the dense canopy, extensive understory, and limited visibility due to smoke.
The area is especially challenging for firefighters due to steep slopes and the nature of a mature forest; thick undergrowth slows progress and snags pose a falling hazard. Firefighter and public safety remains priority for all involved. No injuries or facility damage have been reported.
The number of personnel engaged has risen to approximately 125.
Current aerial support includes two Type 2 helicopters and a Type 1 helicopter. Heavy airtankers and single-engine airtankers (SEATs) are on standby if needed.
Park facilities remain unchanged from earlier reports:
- the 214 Trailhead and several back-country trails, Howard Creek horse camp and Howard Creek day-use area, youth camp (Camp Silver Creek), and the Ranches are all closed. Howard Creek and the Ranches are closed to serve as incident command posts.
- All other areas of the park are currently operating normally, with no interruptions to scheduled events. Visitors are enjoying the Historic Silver Falls Day event (https://silverfallsstatepark.wordpress.com/category/historic-silver-falls-days/),
- The Silver Falls Lodge and Conference Center (http://silverfallslodge.com/) continues to serve customers, including a wedding reception.
Photos and videos taken at the fire Saturday, July 14 are online at https://drive.google.com/open?id=19RlLpHp3XPlNq0d-H8ZBz7SqEvDUG3Yy
Saturday, July 14, 2018
|Above: Firefighters had to make their way through |
dense forest Saturday to reach the Silver Creek Fire in a remote part of
Silver Falls State Park, then endure high heat. The fire size tonight
is reported at around 12 to 15 acres.
- The 214 Trailhead and several back-country trails, Howard Creek horse camp and day-use area, the youth camp (Camp Silver Creek) and the Ranches are all closed. Howard Creek and the Ranches are closed to serve as command posts.
- Other areas of the park are currently operating normally, with no interruptions to scheduled events.
The fire's size is estimated to be 12 acres this morning. The cause is under investigation. The fire is located in the southeast corner of Silver Falls State Park in steep, heavily timbered terrain far from roads and trails. This has made accessing the fire challenging for ground forces, who have had to clear a path to reach the fire, according to Incident Commander Brent O'Nion from ODF's Forest Grove Unit.
The fire's Incident Commander Brent O'Nion with ODF said this morning that, "Because the fire is in steep, heavily timbered terrain in a section of the park away from roads and trails, getting ground crews up to the fire has been challenging. Firefighter safety is a concern and our number one priority right now as we battle this blaze."
ODF's North Cascade District and Drakes Crossing firefighters responded to the initial report of fire Thursday night and searched until 1 a.m. trying to locate the fire but could not find any smoke column. The search resumed at daybreak Friday morning when the fire - Oregon State Parks fire closures web page.estimated at less than an acre - was finally located beneath thick timber.
Once the fire's position was known, ODF rapidly called in air resources to help slow the fire's spread.
"We had solid initial attack on the fire from the air yesterday, with response from a helicopter, single-engine airtankers and large airtankers," said O'Nion. "That gave our firefighters time to work their way toward the fire so they could begin engaging on it."
O'Nion lauded the continuing close collaboration on the fire with local firefighers and Oregon State Parks personnel.
|Above: ODF Aviation Manger Neal Laugle |
at a briefing discusses strategy on the Silver Creek Fire
with ODF fire team and local cooperators.
Silver Falls State Park is a popular summer destination in Marion County. Oregon State Parks has closed to the public the Howard Creek Horse Campground within the park so it can be used as the staging area for firefighting operations. Camp Silver Creek (also known as Y Camp) about a mile from the fire's location was evacuated yesterday and remains closed.
Oregon State Parks is reporting that also closed are all back-country trails on the east side of the park, The Ranches, and 214 Trailhead. The rest of the park and events there are unaffected and remain open but visitors are cautioned to be alert to firefighting activity and traffic. For the latest on park and trail closures check Oregon State Park's fire closures web page.
Friday, July 13, 2018
According to Oregon State Parks, the park remains open to visitors, including its waterfall trails. Some trails in the vicinity of the fire may be temporarily closed. Check Silver Falls State Park for the most current information.
Left: Single-engine airtankers like this one were called on today to drop retardant on a small fire in Silver Falls State Park. Two of these airtankers have dropped a total of at least four loads on the fire earlier today.
Thursday, July 12, 2018
CAMP RILEA, Ore. - Wildland firefighter training wrapped up at this military training center on the Oregon coast today for some 300 Oregon National Guard members.
Last year, more than 700 Oregon National Guard members were mobilized during the peak of fire season to help firefighters battle a number of persistent large wildfires statewide. That year, Guard members did not receive the week-long training until they were mobilized. This year, thanks to changes in how federal training funds can be used, the Guard could train before being mobilized to a wildfire.
ODF's Deputy Chief of Fire Protection Russ Lane said several hundred other Oregon Guard troops who trained last year have completed or soon will complete required refresher training. That gives the state access to the same number of Oregon National Guard member as last year.
Holding the training earlier in the summer also frees up instructors during peak fire activity, Lane said, making them available to help their agencies manage wildfires.
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
The command is reporting the fire as 45% contained.
Aerial and ground attack is continuing today after good progress was made overnight, with no increase in acres burned. A major focus is preventing any further spread into Oregon. The Oregon portion of the fire is burning in the Soda Mountain Wilderness. The fire has forced closure of the Pacific Crest Trail where it passes through the wilderness. The 24,700-acre Soda Mountain Wilderness is inside the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
East of I-5 evacuation Levels 2 and 3 remain in place east. West of I-5 evacuation levels have decreased, with Level 3 evacuations now down to Level 2, and Level 2 orders lowered to Level 1.
About 2,800 firefighters are engaged on the wildfire, with 208 fire engines, 27 water tenders, 29 dozers, 18 helicoptes and 88 handcrews.
For more information about the fire, go to Cal Fire at http://www.fire.ca.gov/current_incidents/incidentdetails/Index/2108
Sunday, July 8, 2018
This fire started Thursday, July 5, in northern California on Klamathon Road. With dry and windy conditions, the fire quickly grew to over 8,000 acres in the first day and is currently estimated at 30,500 acres, with approx. 1,200 of those in Oregon. The fire
crossed the Oregon/California border about 5 miles east of I-5 early Saturday morning. ODF ground crews and aviation forces are heavily engaged and our agency is in unified command with CAL Fire and Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office. There are currently upwards of 2,300 personnel battling the blaze.
The fire continues to threaten the communities in northern California and Colestin, Ore. Approximately 600 homes in these areas remain threatened.
Oregon evacuation notifications in Jackson County remain in place with the following areas in Jackson County are currently at a Level 3 (red) "Go" evacuation notice:
- Colestin Road area from the Oregon-California border to the Mount Ashland Ski Road.
- Highway 99 from the Oregon-California border to the Mount Ashland Ski Road.
- Mount Ashland Ski Road from Mount Ashland down to Highway 99.
- Old Highway 99 to just below Callahan's Lodge.
Memaloose State Park Fire
Located ten miles east of Hood River, Oregon, the Memaloose State Park fire was reported on Friday, July 6 with the cause still under investigation. Firefighters worked on Saturday to complete fireline and have kept the fire at 65 acres. This morning the fire is 35% contained. Firefighters from Mosier Fire Department, Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue, and the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area continue to assist in the suppression effort providing water tenders, fire engines and fire fighters. Today firefighters will be working to mop-up heat and flames within the fire area.
The fire threatened homes in the Rowena Dell area. Current evacuation information can be found on the Wasco County Sheriff’s facebook page: www.facebook.com/WascoCountySheriff/.
Highway 30 re-opened late Saturday, however fire activity and suppression actions can rapidly evolve, please use www.tripcheck.com to verify road closures.
Memaloose State Park is currently closed to new campers entering the campground. This closure is in place to ensure firefighter and public safety during firefighting activities. The westbound Interstate 84 Memaloose Rest Area will remain closed until repairs can be made to the electrical system which were damaged by the fire.
The fire burned lands within Memaloose State Park, Oregon Travel Experience’s Memaloose Rest Area, and private lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry, Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue protection, and some lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service.
|Continued mop-up and damage |
assessment are underway.
Lobster Creek Fire
|The Lobster Creek Fire burned hot in a clear cut below |
the road and scorched the stand of trees above
Friday, July 6, 2018
Oregon's 2018 Fire Season well underway
With fire on the landscape and dry conditions in the forecast, the 2018 fire season is well underway. ODF is seeing continued success with initial attack on new fires, keeping the majority of new starts under 10 acres and preventing further loss.
All ODF districts and protective associations are officially in fire season, with regulated use effective in the majority of these districts. Due to variations in terrain and conditions, restrictions differ by district, with sky lanterns prohibited year-round in Oregon. For more information on restrictions or closures in a specific area, visit ODF's website.
The Red Flag Warning issued by the National Weather Service for much of central and south-central Oregon remains in effect through 9 p.m. this evening.
Fire danger level on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected lands in Jackson and Josephine counties remains at high (yellow).
Recent ODF wildfires
Atlantic Ave Fire - Southwest Oregon District
Ignition Date: July 5
Acres burned: 115
Status: 100% lined, in mop-up
Location: White City, OR
Structures lost: 5
Cause: Human caused
More info: http://www.swofire.com/
Delegated authority: ODF Incident
Management Team 3
Ignition date: July 1
Acres burned: approximately 397
Status: 100% lined, 55% containment, in mop-up
Location: 12 miles northeast of Gold Beach, OR in Curry County
Cause: Under investigation
More info: Inciweb - Lobster Creek Fire
Bryant Fire - Klamath Lake District
Ignition date: July 4
Acres burned: 32
Status: 100% contained, in mop-up
Location: 5 miles south of Bonanza , OR
Cause: Under investigation
Thursday, July 5, 2018
All ODF districts and protective associations are officially
in fire season with regulated use effective in the majority of these districts.
For more information on restrictions or closures in a specific area, visit
ODF's website. Sky lanterns are prohibited
year-round in Oregon.
|Firefighters work to eliminate hot spots on the |
Lobster Creek Fire.
Status: 100% lined, in mop-up
Bryant Fire - Klammath Lake District
Ignition date: July 4
Acres burned: 32
Wednesday, July 4, 2018
Tuesday, July 3, 2018
|Above: Firefighters tackle the Lobster Creek Fire 12 miles |
northeast of Gold Beach in Curry County.
Monday, July 2, 2018
The fire was reported Sunday evening, July 1. Pushed by strong winds, it spread to the south and is estimated to be 446 acres. The fire is estimated as 60% lined and 10% contained.
Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) Incident Management Team 3 has been mobilized to take over management of the fire today at 6 p.m. This is the second IMT deployment in as many weeks. IMT 2 demobilized just last week from the Graham Fire in Central Oregon District.
The fire is burning in private industrial timberlands in the Lobster Creek and Fall Creek drainages. No homes or structures are threatened at this time.
For information on closures and fire prevention you can find Coos Forest Protective Association on the web at www.coosfpa.net, call the Closure Line at (541) 267-1789, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Comments and questions
Current wildfire info
What we do
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.