Current situation

Check with your local district or forest protection association for restrictions or use ODF's fire restrictions and closures web page for the latest details at https://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx.

Monday, September 17, 2018

ODF Fire Update for Monday, Sept. 17

Terwilliger Fire - Willamette National Forest
This past weekend, a special team of staff from the McKenzie River Ranger District worked to mitigate hazards posed by fire weakened and damaged trees around the Terwilliger Hot Springs. The fire burned through the springs with varying levels of severity. Approximately, five burned trees were felled. These trees posed the most imminent danger of falling and further damaging the springs and the rock work constructed around them. Additional hazard trees around the hot springs will likely need to be felled in the coming months. Only the minimum number of staff needed to do this work are entering the area due to the myriad of fire hazards that remain in the vicinity of the springs and along Aufderheide Scenic Byway (Forest Service Road 19).

After effects of the Terwilliger Hot Springs.

Forest Service Road (FR) 19 remains closed to the public due to unsafe conditions from falling rocks, debris and fire weakened trees. The closure begins at the junction of FR 408 south to Box Canyon. Firefighters are allowed on portions of FR 19 where mitigations to reduce risks have been taken. No fire traffic, except for emergency vehicles, are allowed on FR 19 adjacent to the Cougar Reservoir; beginning from the junction of FR 415 south to the FR 1985. The Terwilliger (Cougar) Hot Springs remain closed. The public is asked to respect the road and area closures for the protection to themselves and firefighters.



 
Location: 5 miles southeast of Blue River
Cause: Under investigation
Acres burned: 11,082
Personnel: 367
Containment: 75%
More information:

Klondike Fire West
Klondike Fire is still actively burning.
Fire activity was minimal yesterday with some fire growth reported in the Indigo Creek and Silver Creek drainages. Helicopters were used to keep these areas of growth in check. Small amounts of rain fell over the western portions of the fire area, but not enough to change fire behavior significantly on a long-term basis. A drying trend is forecast for the area and is expected to bring about a rise in fire activity for the next few days.

Firefighters are continuing to focus on mopping up and holding the fireline, as well as felling snags and fire-damaged trees along forest roadways. Road graders will continue repair work on the roads and contingency lines west of the fire perimeter. Work on construction of check lines between the North Fork of Indigo Creek and Cedar Mountain, which are in place as potential control lines, should be completed today.

Evacuation Information: The evacuation level in the Agness Zone remains at 2 - Be Set.

Location: 9 miles northwest of Selma
Ignition date: July 15, 2018
Cause: Lightning
Acres burned: 140,232 acres
Personnel: 633
Containment: 72%
More information:
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5998/ 

Miles and Columbus fires 
(formerly the South Umpqua Complex/Sugar Pine Fires; also includes Snow Shoe and Round Top)
Tom Merritt, Incident Commander with the US Forest Service ICT3, took command today at 0600. 

Despite starting July 15, the Miles Fire continues to burn actively in the interior of the fire.
This photo was taken Sept. 15 in the northeast section where firefighters were actively patrolling.
Firefighters will continue to patrol and secure the fire's perimeter as well as repair lines to a more natural condition. Crews are being reallocated to other areas of the fire as work is completed. Personnel are identifying equipment no longer in use for suppression or repair work and will release it to other incidents if needed.

Appropriate hazard reduction for employees, contractors, and the public may be needed. This work includes the identification and mitigation of danger trees next to roads, trails, and firelines which pose a significant threat to firefighters and the public when the area is reopened.

Weather is expected to be drier Monday through Thursday, with a cold front coming on-shore Friday. This cold front will increase the potential for showers and higher relative humidity (RH) in the Fire area. RH over the Fire area will drop into the low 30s-hi 20s during the week. Typical early morning downslope winds of 1-3 mph will occur, and afternoon transport winds from the west-northwest will predominate.

Location: Approximately 7 miles northeast of Trail
Ignition date: July 15, 2018
Cause: Lightning
Acres burned: Combined total of 54,134 acres
Personnel: 310
Containment: 70%
More information:

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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.