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

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.

Monday, November 12, 2018

ODF Sends Two Strike Teams to Assist With California Wildfires

ODF has deployed two strike teams with equipment and personnel to assist in suppression efforts for the devastating wildfires in California. This deployment was coordinated with the Oregon Office of Emergency Management through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC).

Using the EMAC system, California fire officials originally requested additional resources to support suppression efforts in the southern portion of the state. The two ODF strike teams, consisting of five Type 6 engines each, two strike team leaders and an agency representative (28 personnel total), departed early Sunday morning. In addition to ODF districts in eastern and southern Oregon, resources include engines and personnel from the Douglas Forest Protection Association.

While en route, the ODF teams received new orders to divert to the Camp Fire near Chico, CA due to the evolving and emergent situation. Both strike teams arrived at the Camp Incident Command Post Sunday evening and will be joining suppression efforts on the front line Monday morning. 

“Oregon and California have a long-standing relationship of mutual aid wherever suppression resources are needed,” said Oregon’s State Forester, Peter Daugherty. “California has come to our aid during our challenging fire seasons and Oregon is now able to help California during this tragic time of need.”

ODF crews receive their assignment
 at Camp Fire Incident Command Post 11-12-18
At the time of arrival, the Camp Fire was reported at 111,000 acres and 25 percent containment, with approximately 6,453 residences destroyed and an additional 15,000 structures threatened. An estimated 31 people have lost their lives and an additional 200 are listed as missing.

The ODF teams will join their Oregon State Fire Marshal counterparts, adding to the growing number of out of state resources joining suppression efforts during these devastating wildfires impacting much of the state. The team anticipates a full 14-day deployment.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

ODF Continues Support for Hurricane Michael Response Efforts

Due to the extensive destruction caused by Hurricane Michael, the Florida Division of Emergency Management requested additional Incident Management Teams.  ODF stepped up to fill this request, working with Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM), and sending a third team to assist with relief and recovery efforts.  

As with recent deployments, this request was coordinated through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). The EMAC provides mutual assistance among states and territories during any governor-declared state of emergency through a responsive system. This structure allows states to send personnel, equipment, and supplies to assist with response and relief efforts in other states.

This ODF Team, led by Incident Commander Link Smith, arrived in Tallahassee, Fla. Nov. 6, where they received an in-briefing from the Florida National Guard at the Tallahassee Base Camp. Their current mission is to assist with oversight of the Base Camp located in Marianna, Fla., in the heart of the destruction zone. Their assignment includes ensuring the safety and welfare of Base Camp and coordination of communication efforts.

ODF IMT (Smith) at Base Camp in Mariana, FL
reunited with Florida PIO who was
deployed to Oregon during the 2018 Fire Season.
ODF Agency Representative Dennis Lee mobilized with the team to oversee coordination of both of the ODF teams currently deployed in Florida. “The magnitude of destruction here is difficult to convey for those back at home,” Lee said. “Along with the devastation of so many homes and buildings, the sheer volume of what I would refer to as near-deforestation is somewhat unreal. Despite all of this, life goes on for everyone here and the resiliency of the local residents is truly inspiring. We are honored to be here to do our part in helping our Florida friends put the pieces back together.”

While ODF utilizes the EMAC most often during fire season, agency Incident Management Teams maintain All-Hazard qualifications to ensure capacity for potential disaster relief needs. ODF’s complete and coordinated fire suppression system relies on strong partnerships with other agencies, states and even countries, offering reciprocal assistance in times of need.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

New post-wildfire resource guide now available to help communities cope with flood and debris flow danger

SALEM, Ore. – Autumn rains may have ended Oregon’s wildfire season but not the risk of floods and debris flows following in their wake. That is why a working group of state and federal agencies have  released a new playbook. The playbook will aid local officials in finding resources to help prevent or cope with potentially catastrophic wildfire after-effects.
Above: After intense wildfires, burned soils may be less able
to absorb runoff, raising the risk of flooding or debris flows.

Wildfires burned more than 856,000 acres this year across all of Oregon, well above the 10-year average of approximately 500,000 acres, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Chief of Fire Protection Doug Grafe.

High intensity wildfires can destroy protective vegetation and alter soil so it is less able to absorb rainfall and snowmelt,” said Grafe. “After such fires, there can be an increased risk of flooding or debris flows.”
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, landslides (also known as debris flows) cause about $3.5 billion (in 2001 dollars) in damage in the U.S. each year, and claim between 25 to 50 lives. A prime example is the debris flow that hit Montecito in Southern California in January of this year. Just weeks after the Thomas Fire burned the hills above the town of about 9,000, a debris flow swept through, killing more than 20 people.

Ryan Cahill, hydraulic engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said his agency worked with several partners to compile and complete the guide, including:

·       Natural Resources Conservation Service

·       Oregon Department of Forestry

·       Oregon Emergency Management

·       Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development

·       U.S. Forest Service

·       U.S. Geological Survey

“Federal and state partners already work together to suppress wildfires, so it was natural for us to come together to prepare a guide for community leaders on what to do after wildfires,” said Cahill. “The playbook we produced explains what to do to reduce the risk from floods and debris flows, identifies the resources available to help do that, and where to find those resources,” said Cahill.

Among steps Cahill said at-risk communities can take, one is designating in advance where evacuation centers will be, including animal-friendly locations where pets and livestock can receive care. Alert systems, such as reverse 9-1-1 calls, should also be organized and periodically tested.

All government entities and critical emergency organizations, such as hospitals, utilities, food banks and schools, should know their roles in a community flood or debris flow emergency. Then be equipped and prepared to carry out those plans.

Although the playbook is intended for elected local officials and emergency managers, individuals can help protect themselves as well.

“Property owners and those living and working near rivers where catastrophic fires have occurred should be aware of their level of risk and take appropriate preparedness actions,” said Oregon Office of Emergency Management Director Andrew Phelps. “This includes having ‘two-weeks ready’ preparedness supplies handy, signing up for emergency notification systems where you live, and reviewing insurance coverage to make sure your home is protected for hazards like flooding and landslides.”  

The playbook can be accessed at:

# # #

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

2018 Fire season officially over, fire prevention continues

The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), which protects roughly 16 million acres of private, state and federal lands, officially declared the end of fire season statewide yesterday, Oct. 29.

For ODF, fire season is declared and terminated at the district level, based on local fire danger conditions. Of the Department’s 12 districts across the state, Central Oregon and Southwest Oregon Districts saw drier, warmer conditions early on, officially kicking off the season June 1. Over the course of the 2018 fire season, ODF and its forest protective association partners suppressed a total of 1,059 fires. An estimated 75,531 acres burned on ODF-protected land this year, more than doubling the 10-year average.

Oregon’s complete and coordinated wildfire protection system — consisting of ODF, landowner partners, agency cooperators, and the fire contracting community — was successful under extremely challenging conditions this year. In spite of statewide drought conditions, ODF and partners again succeeded in keeping 95% of all wildfires to less than 10 acres with aggressive and successful initial attacks.

From mid-June through much of September, a combination of historically high temperatures and near-record low precipitation levels and fuel moistures resulted in a significant fire activity increase across the state, in spite of an above-average snowpack and precipitation the previous winter. Dry lightning storms were a contributing factor.

More than 2,800 lightning strikes in mid-July ignited hundreds of starts, at least seven of which became large fires in southwest Oregon. Another lightning event in August with 2,335 strikes ignited hundreds of starts in central and eastern Oregon. Of these hundreds of starts, the majority were caught and contained in initial attack, with only eight large fires established in central Oregon.

“With numerous large fires and limited resources across the nation, the 2018 fire season brought real challenges,” said ODF Interim Deputy Chief for Fire Operations, Russ Lane. “For ODF, we also saw a number of successes. Thanks to aggressive and safe firefighting, we were able to keep several potentially large fires small in scale while keeping firefighter injuries to a minimum. We are grateful for our partnerships and their invaluable roles within Oregon’s complete and coordinated fire protection system, including forest landowners, rural fire districts, and federal and state partners.”

Nationally, as well as in Oregon and Washington, we were at Preparedness Level 5 (the highest level) for 32 days, 8 days shorter than the record-holding 2017 fire season, Increased wildland fire activity on the national level required major commitment of limited resources, adding complexity to an already dynamic fire season.

With the transition out of fire season, ODF districts across the state are shifting their attention to wildfire prevention efforts. Working with partners, landowners and members of the public, the shared objective is to minimize potential fuels for the coming fire season, mitigating risk while remaining vigilant with any activity associated with fire.

“Fire prevention remains our top priority,” Lane said. “Human-caused fires — especially debris burning and illegal, abandoned campfires — continue to raise concern, and we are focusing outreach and messaging efforts there alongside our partner Keep Oregon Green. Combined with fuel reduction and mitigation, we are constantly looking for new ways to raise awareness and support Oregonians in our shared objective to reduce wildfire and keep Oregon green.”

Monday, October 29, 2018

ODF sends incident management team to support Hurricane Michael response efforts

The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), working with Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM), is filling a request from the Florida Division of Emergency Management for an All-Hazards Incident Management Team (IMT) to support the response to Hurricane Michael. 

The request is coordinated through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) agreement. The EMAC offers assistance among states and territories during any governor-declared state of emergency through a responsive system, providing a mutual aid structure. This allows states to send personnel, equipment, and supplies to assist with response and relief efforts in other states.

While ODF utilizes the EMAC most often during fire season, agency Incident Management Teams maintain All-Hazard qualifications to ensure capacity for potential disaster relief needs. ODF’s complete and coordinated fire suppression system relies on strong partnerships with other agencies, states and even countries, offering reciprocal assistance in times of need.

With an estimated 23,000 residents still without power in wake of this catastrophic storm, the ODF IMT, led by Incident Commander Chris Cline, is eager to bring some added capacity to their counterparts in Florida.
The IMT departing to Florida on Monday.

“Our strong partnerships with fellow agencies and states have proven invaluable to our success in wildfire suppression,” Cline said. “Just a few months ago we had an IMT from Florida standing side-by-side with our folks battling wildfire here in Oregon. Knowing the bases are covered on the home front with fire season winding down, our team is ready and willing to get to work. We’re truly grateful for the opportunity to return the favor.”

Arriving in Tallahassee, Fla. Monday afternoon, the team will be working out of a base camp in Panama City, in the epicenter of the devastation zone. The ODF IMT anticipates a full deployment of 14 days.  

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Oregonians return home from Florida inspired and humbled

Oregon State Fire Marshal (OSFM) and Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) IMT’s returned home from Florida yesterday, Oct. 27 after a 14-day assignment. Their mission was in Bay County in the Florida Panhandle, where they integrated with IMTs from Mississippi and Florida. The unified IMT provided leadership to the county for emergency management response by deploying resources for search and rescue. The team then shifted into recovery mode by helping residents obtain transitional housing and getting kids back into schools.
OSFM and ODF team in Bay County, Florida
supporting the cleanup efforts for Hurricane Michael.

Incident Commander Ted Kunze said, “OSFM and ODF working in unified command along with the IMTs from other states optimized our resources and created a robust IMT, which allowed us to get started quickly and efficiently on our search and rescue mission. I feel we all represented Oregon very well.”

The team spent time in Mexico Beach, where the eye made landfall. Tens of thousands of tarps have been distributed in Bay County. They were in total awe of the spirit of the people here and the outpouring of volunteers throughout the county from all over the country. A funeral was held Wednesday for the Bay County firefighter killed last week. The Oregon IMT is donating $1,000 to the family. 

In Mexico Beach, Florida, tarps distributed cover roofs.
Although the recovery efforts posed some challenges, the team describes their mission as very inspiring and humbling. They are very proud of the work done by both of our teams in helping Floridians put the pieces back together again.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Fire update for Oct. 26, 2018

Fire season still in effect
  • Douglas FPA (will terminate Sunday, October 28)
  • Southwest Oregon
Fire season no longer in effect
  • Northwest Oregon (Astoria, Tillamook, Forest Grove): Oct. 5
  • Northeast Oregon: Oct. 12
  • Central Oregon: Oct. 12
  • Walker Range FPA: Oct. 12
  • Klamath Lake: Oct. 12
  • West Oregon: Oct. 26
  • North Cascade: Oct. 26
  • South Cascade: Oct. 26
  • Western Lane: Oct. 26
  • Coos FPA: Oct. 26
New Fires

Pile Fire (1012 Fire)
Location: Northeast Oregon/Wallowa, north of Troy
The Pile Fire, previously known as the 1210 Fire,
burned 27 acres last weekend.
Acres burned: 27 acres
Containment: 100%
Ignition: Oct. 19, 2018
Cause: Under investigation

Pile Fire burned 27 acres was creeping and smoldering in timber and grass. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife staff also responded to the incident and were assisting with suppression. This is a stark reminder of fuel conditions across the district. Remember to continue to be cautious with fire as fuel conditions can change rapidly this time of year. 

Ongoing Fires

Klondike Fire West
Location: 9 miles northwest of Selma
Ignition: July 15, 2018
Cause: Lightning
Acres burned: 174,446 acres
Personnel: 512
Containment: 75%
More information:

Klondike Fire West had minimal fire activity again yesterday. All the spot fires are contained and in patrol status. Fire spread is expected to be minimal over the weekend. Level 2 (Be set) evacuations orders are in effect.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Fire update for Oct. 19, 2018

New Fires
Holland Mainline Fire, southeast of Cave Junction, is estimated to be 73% contained.
A big thank you to Rural Metro Fire - Josephine County and
Illinois Valley Fire District for partnering with us on fighting this fire.

Stukel Fire
Location: 11 miles SE of Klamath Falls
Acres burned: 518 acres
Cause: Human

Holland Mainline Fire
Location: Southwest Oregon District
Acres burned: 77 acres
Cause: Under investigation

Pierce Road Fire
Location: North Cascade District
Acres burned: 12 acres
Cause: Under investigation

Ongoing Fires

Klondike Fire West has burned 37 acres into private land with minimal growth overnight. ODF, through Coos Forest Protective Association, has been engaged since July. Over the last weekend, ODF added additional resources to support both day and night firefighting efforts. Crews continue to battle numerous spot fires caused by east winds. Evacuation orders are in effect.

Klondike Fire West
Location: 9 miles northwest of Selma
Ignition: July 15, 2018
Cause: Lightning
Acres burned: 173,359 acres
Personnel: 614
Containment: 72%
More information:

Thursday, October 18, 2018

ODF urges extra caution with debris burning

Over the past few weeks, ODF along with many of our partner agencies, have responded to dozens of escaped debris burns across the state. As the calendar turns toward fall, Oregonians are anxious to get outside and clean up the forest and yard debris accumulated over the summer.

ODF engines respond to a 10+ acre fire caused by
an escaped debris burn outside of Molalla.

With the increase in temperatures, dry fuels, and unpredictable wind and weather conditions, many of these burns have escaped and resulted in acres and structures lost. With multiple agencies responding, costs accumulate quickly and often fall to the landowner or individual found to be responsible for the fire.   

These fires are completely preventable and ODF is here to help. For those looking to burn their debris piles, ODF local offices are a phone call away. Another option is the interactive ODF Fire Restrictions Map where users simply click on their location to receive current local fire restrictions.   

Please check your local restrictions before you burn - these fires are preventable!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

 Klondike Fire Update

      The Klondike Fire, currently estimated at over 172,000 acres, has been burning since July 15th, primarily on federal lands.  With the dry east winds and warm temperatures over the weekend, containment lines east of Agness were breached and the fire made a 5 mile run towards Agness. This breach burned over 2,000 acres Sunday and moved within 2 miles of Agness.
      Governor Brown invoked a conflagration and the Oregon State Fire Marshal Team (Yocum) integrated in Unified Command with the existing Incident Management Team on scene (Knerr).  Five taskforces of structure engines are on scene and evacuations are in place for residence around Agness. 
      ODF, through Coos Forest Protective Association, has been engaged since July.  Over the weekend, ODF added additional resources to support both day and night firefighting efforts.  Crews continue to battle numerous spot fires caused by east winds. No structures have been lost or damaged at this time. Evacuation orders are in effect.

Infrared map for the #KlondikeFire shows the area of high intensity growth to the west with a few additional spot fires. Fire crews and bulldozers were able to construct fireline around many of these spot fires and fire behavior was moderated Mon/Tues by the inversion.
Monday, October 15, 2018

The Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal and Oregon Department of Forestry, through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), sent a second All-Hazards Incident Management Team (IMTs) to support relief efforts and response to Hurricane Michael. 

The OSFM IMT, led by Chief Ted Kunze, includes staff from the Oregon Department of Forestry who are qualified within the Incident Command Structure. 
“We value our working relationships and partnerships with fellow states agencies,” said Oregon Department of Forestry's Interim Operations Manager, Blake Ellis. “Florida has been there for us in our time of need, sending a full IMT to our aid during this year’s challenging fire season, and Oregon is fortunate to have the opportunity to return the favor.”
The team anticipates a full deployment of 14 days, returning late October.


Friday, October 5, 2018

Restrictions lowered, but fire season is still active

Northwest Oregon Protection Association (Astoria, Tillamook, Forest Grove) ended fire season today.

Fire danger has dropped from high to moderate in Central Oregon District and Walker Range. 

Rain will move across much of the region today diminishing over the weekend. Temperatures will remain below average. Winds will vary across the region as weather systems arrive and depart.

The potential for large fire initiation over the region is minimal due to the wet and cool weather on today and lingering through the weekend.

New Fires

Wilkins Fire
On Monday the Northeast Oregon District battled a 19.5 acre fire two miles west of Ukiah. The Wilkins Fire burned through grass and timber. The fire was aggressively initial attacked and is 100% dozer lined. Resources stayed on scene overnight and through Tuesday. The cause is under investigation.

Ongoing Fires

Klondike Fire West
Location: 9 miles northwest of Selma
Ignition: July 15, 2018
Cause: Lightning
Acres burned: 167,309 acres
Personnel: 525
Containment: 72%
More information:

Friday, September 28, 2018

ODF strike team helps Wyoming with wildfires

Above: Some of the ODF personnel now in Wyoming
 helping that state cope with late season wildfires. 
ODF has sent five fire engines and crews and at least 10 other personnel to Wyoming at the request of the Wyoming State Forestry Division. The strike team is helping with initial attack in Sublette County while other firefighters engage on the 54,071-acre Roosevelt Fire.

The Roosevelt Fire is burning in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in western Wyoming. A number of structures have been reported lost in that fire.

Yesterday three of the engines were redeployed to help with the 21,631-acre Ryan Fire burning in the Routt National Forest by the border with Colorado.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Bear Springs Fire now estimated at about 20 acres

GLENDALE, Ore. - Aviation and ground resources continued to work on the Bear Springs Fire Thursday afternoon. The fire is located about seven miles west of Glendale in Douglas County.  It is now estimated to be about 20 acres in size. The fire is burning in a mixture of old growth timber and younger trees.
Today, firefighters have used multiple helicopters to help cool the fires spread while ground resources, including firefighters and bull dozers, worked to complete fire trails around the fire.  One large air tanker and two single-engine airtankers (SEAT’s) were also used earlier today to drop fire retardant on the fire.  Since then, drift smoke from surrounding fires have moved into the area, which has limited visibility, causing the fixed-wing aircraft to be grounded for safety reasons.
Crews recently reported that there is a fire trail around the majority of the fire, some of which is hand line and some is dozer line. Firefighters are also working to install hose lays around the fires perimeter.  Once fire trails are completed around the fire, crews will work to improve and hold the fire lines.
Currently, there are no homes threatened by the Bear Springs Fire and no evacuations have been issued.  One firefighter received multiple bee stings while working on the fire and was removed from the fire line as a precautionary measure.  No other injuries have been reported.
The cause of the Bear Springs Fire is currently under investigation.  Anyone with information about the cause of the fire is asked to contact DFPA.

Crews respond to Bear Springs Fire in Douglas County

GLENDALE, Ore. - Crews from the Douglas Forest Protective Association and ODF's Southwest Oregon District are on the scene of the Bear Springs Fire about seven miles west of Glendale. The Bear Springs Fire is currently estimated to be about seven to 10 acres in size. It is burning on a steep hillside with poor access. Five helicopters are currently supporting ground resources as they work to contain the Bear Springs Fire. Additional ground and aviation resources have been ordered to assist with the blaze and are en-route to the fire.

Currently, no homes are threatened by the Bear Springs Fire and no evacuations have been issued. The cause of the Bear Springs Fire is currently under investigation.

Comments and questions

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.


About Me

My photo
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.