Current situation

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

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

ODF Strike Teams Head Home from the Camp Fire


Strike teams from the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) and Douglas Forest Protective Association (DFPA) were released today by Cal Fire from their assignment on the Camp Fire in Butte County, Calif. Heavy rains forecasted for much of the area are expected to improve conditions and provide a much-needed reprieve for wildfire suppression throughout the region.
Reported as the deadliest wildfire in a century, the Camp Fire is estimated at 151,373 acres and 70 percent contained, with at least 79 civilian fatalities reported and over 13,000 structures destroyed. Tasks completed by ODF and DFPA resources included fire line construction and improvements,

Dozer corralling a spot fire across the fire line.

burning operations to assisting in recovery efforts in the City of Paradise and surrounding communities. The teams worked alongside Cal Fire and California Office of Emergency Management as well as numerous fellow firefighting agencies.

The 28 agency and association personnel head home to their families today just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Our crews came down readily willing to serve Cal Fire and the citizens of Butte County,” said ODF Agency Representative Matt Howard. “While the work they completed was within their scope, training and experience, the difference with the Camp Fire was the sheer magnitude of the incident. The severe loss of human life, infrastructure, and natural resources are unlike anything our folks have experienced.

“As the agency representative, I am extremely humbled to have shared this assignment with the two experienced Engine Strike Teams from the Oregon Department of Forestry and Douglas Forest Protective Association. Our homecoming is bittersweet as we head home to our loved ones,” Howard added. “Our heartfelt wishes are with our fellow firefighters, Paradise and surrounding communities, and all those impacted by this tragic fire.”

Brief break for a quick photo of the EOA strike team.

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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.