Current situation

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





Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Firefighters making progress on the Lobster Creek Fire in southwest Oregon

Above: Firefighters tackle the Lobster Creek Fire 12 miles
northeast of Gold Beach in Curry County.

GOLD BEACH, Ore. - Firefighters gained considerable ground overnight on the Lobster Creek Fire 12 miles northeast of Gold Beach. The wind-driven fire started Sunday afternoon on private industrial timberlands and quickly grew to an estimated 450 acres by Monday morning. Since that time, fire crews have nearly completed hand and bulldozer lines around the fire’s perimeter. Current containment stands at 10 percent.

 
Oregon Department of Forestry’s Incident Management Team (IMT), led by Incident Commander Link Smith, arrived Monday afternoon to relieve Coos Forest Protective Association crews and allow them to return to initial attack responsibilities on the district.
 
The IMT, comprised of 33 fire managers and support personnel, quickly assessed the needs and began ordering additional resources. About 450 firefighters will be working round the clock, split between a day and night shift. Ground forces are being supported with 6 helicopters, 3 retardant-dropping Single Engine Airtankers (SEATs), 3 bulldozers, 5 engines and 5 water tenders.
 

The Lobster Creek Fire has been determined to be human caused (not lightning), but remains under investigation. The fire is a good reminder that conditions are prime for ignition and fire spread. Fire managers are encouraging everyone to be cautious with fireworks this 4th of July as well as any other spark-emitting activity. Fireworks are currently prohibited in most areas. Other public fire restrictions in place include keeping campfires in approved campgrounds and vehicles on improved roads. The mowing of dried, cured grass, cutting and welding, and the use of power saws are also restricted. Check with your local Oregon Department of Forestry or forest protective association office for fire regulations in your area or where you may be traveling.

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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 you have about current wildfires. Please keep your posts civil and free of profanity. You are also welcome to contact us by email at: information@odf.state.or.us.

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.