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.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Statewide fire preparedness level drops with expected decrease in fire activity

As new fire activity has significantly slowed this week and requests for firefighting resources decline, the statewide fire preparedness level dropped to Level 3 on Friday.

While there are still a few large fires on the landscape - the largest in Oregon being Klondike West at 117,458 acres - this is nevertheless an encouraging sign. No ODF incident management teams are deployed at present, although ODF staff are represented on some large fires.  

The fire preparedness level is best understood as a measurement of demand for firefighting resources. Lowering the preparedness level reflects a sustained decrease in this demand. ODF and other partners in Oregon's complete and coordinated system are maintaining formidable firefighting forces and are still putting out new fires with initial attack and battling to fully contain existing blazes. 

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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.


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.