Firefighting costs

The Oregon Dept. of Forestry has expended a net of $30.5 million for large fires as of mid-August. With more wildfire activity possible in the weeks ahead, large-fire costs could grow before season's end.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Central Oregon Fire Update

Central Oregon - There are several changes this morning to closures in the National Forests due to reduced fire activity on the Muskrat and South Forks Fires.

In the Deschutes National Forest, the West Cultus Lake boat-in Campground and trails north of Cultus Lake have reopened to public entry.  Also, the entire closure area in the Ochoco National Forest has reopened to the public, although there are still closures in place on BLM and Malheur National Forests associated with the South Forks Complex.  The fire information number for this incident is 866-347-0636 or find the most recent closures and announcements at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4042/.  The South Forks Complex is now 90% contained. 

Public use restrictions as well as an Industrial Fire Precaution Level III (IFPL III) are still in place for federal lands in Central Oregon.  The public use restriction currently prohibits open fires, including charcoal fires, except in designated campgrounds.  

IFPL III means that personal and commercial woodcutters are prohibited from operating power saws.  Public use restrictions and the IFPL III apply to the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests, Crooked River National Grassland, and the BLM Prineville District.  

For details on these specific restrictions, please contact the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center at 541-416-6811. 
                                                                                                                                              

Cooler weather, high fire danger

With cooler weather forecasted, fire officials with the Douglas Forest Protective Association are reminding the public that the fire danger is still high throughout Douglas County.

 “The prolonged drought conditions throughout the area, along with the above normal temperatures for much of the summer have made our forests very dry” says DFPA Fire Prevention Specialist Kyle Reed.  “Even with the cooler weather that we are expecting, wildfires can easily start and spread quickly.”

Reed reminds that DFPA’s Regulated Use Closure remains in effect for the general public.  The Regulated Use Closure restricts or prohibits certain high fire risk activities on all private, county, state, and BLM land protected by DFPA.  Restrictions include:
  • Open fires, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires are prohibited except at designated campgrounds. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed. 
  • Chain saw use is prohibited, between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. in areas subject to Industrial Fire Precaution Level I and II. Non-industrial chainsaw use is prohibited during IFPL III or IV. When chainsaws are being used, an 8-oz. fire extinguisher and shovel must be on site and a fire watch is required when the chainsaw use is done.
  • The use of motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, is prohibited, except on improved roads.
  • A shovel AND one gallon of water or one operational 2½ lb. or larger fire extinguisher is required in each vehicle when traveling in wildland areas.  All-terrain vehicles and motorcycles must be equipped with one operational 2½ lb. or larger fire extinguisher.
  • The use of fireworks, tracer ammunition, exploding targets, and sky lanterns are prohibited.
  • The cutting, grinding and welding of metal is prohibited. 
  • The mowing of dried and cured grass with power driven equipment is prohibited, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Any electric fence controller in use shall be: 1) Listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory or be certified by the Department of Consumer and Business Services; and 2) Operated in compliance with manufacturer’s instructions.

Due to the fire danger, many large landowners in Douglas County have imposed additional fire restrictions or closures on their lands.  These restrictions and closures are in addition to DFPA’s Regulated Use Closure.  Reed suggests that residents check with the landowner for the location they plan to recreate on, before they head to the woods.


DFPA has suppressed 92 fires this year which have burned about 31 acres.  63 of those fires have been human caused.

 

###

 
Kyle Reed

Fire Prevention Specialist

Douglas Forest Protective Association

Office: (541) 672-6507 ext. 136

Cell: (541) 580-2789

 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Wildfire enables fire extinguisher business to test its wares


This morning, the Douglas Forest Protective Association received a report of a wildfire just outside of Roseburg. But when DFPA firefighters arrived on scene, they found that local shop workers already had the blaze well in hand. After all, they worked for a fire extinguisher business. When the fire broke out right in front of their shop, the workers quickly put it out using extinguishers off the shelf.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Evacuation Alert Removed from Humbug Creek Road

Fire officials monitoring the Old Blue Mountain Fire today will remove the Level 1 evacuation alert from homes on Humbug Creek Rd at 6:00 p.m. The portions of road affected by the alert include homes on the main fork (address 2542 and up) and the entire left fork.

The evacuation alert was ordered early Tuesday afternoon by Applegate Valley Fire District No. 9 and the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Grants Pass Unit.

The roadblock near the 4 mile marker on the right fork of Foots Creek Rd remains in place.

ODF Southwest Oregon District fire activity information and current fire prevention regulations are posted online at www.swofire.com.

Mop-up hits high gear on Old Blue Mountain Fire

Thousands of gallons of helicopter-borne water was poured on the Old Blue Mountain Fire Tuesday, significantly knocking out numerous hot spots within the 99-acre blaze that broke out late Monday during a thunderstorm. 
Early this morning, Incident Commander Steve Wetmore (ODF) reported “Old Blue is one hundred percent lined and one hundred percent plumbed,” meaning the fire line was completed overnight and a system of fire hoses now encircles the burned area.
The fire is 30 percent contained.
The firefighters’ objective today is to mop-up hot spots 300 feet inside the fire line and patrol outside of the fire line to watch for spot fires. Helicopters and air tankers are available, if necessary.
No new fires were reported yesterday on ODF’s Southwest Oregon District. Reconnaissance flights are in the air today to search for holdover fires from Monday’s thunderstorms.
A Level 1 evacuation alert (Be Ready) remains in effect for portions of Humbug Creek Rd. in Jackson County:
·         All homes on the left fork of Humbug Creek Rd;
·         Addresses 2542 and above on the main fork of Humbug Creek Rd (the dirt portion).
The status of the evacuation level will be reviewed this afternoon. More progress on perimeter mop-up is necessary before removing the evacuation alert.
Also, the roadblock near the 4 mile marker on the right fork of Foots Creek Rd remains in place today.
ODF Southwest Oregon District fire activity information and current fire prevention regulations are posted online at www.swofire.com.
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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Oregon Dept of Forestry Fire Update for August 19, 2014


NEW LARGE FIRES

The Old Blue Mountain Fire was reported to the Salem Coordination Center this morning.

Monday's thunderstorms spread lightning across the Siskiyou Mtns in southwest Jackson County and southeast Josephine County with eight fires found so far. All but one are under an acre in size, the largest is the 40-acre Old Blue Mountain Fire located approximately 8 miles south of the city of Rogue River.

It is estimated at 60 acres and has a fire line around 75 percent of the perimeter. A roadblock is in place on the Right Fork of Foots Creek Rd to restrict access to fire-related traffic.

No evacuations have been requested. Reconnaissance flights are searching for holdover fires


FIRE UPDATES
Gulch Fire
The Gulch Fire was reported Sunday five miles south of Wallowa. Aggressive initial attack took place on this 46-acre fire; it is now contained and controlled, and in patrol status.

Rogue River Drive Fire

Located near Shady Cove in Jackson County 15 miles north of Medford, The Rogue River Drive Fire is currently at 492 acres and 70% contained. No structures have been lost.

More information: ODF Medford Unit 541-664-3328, Southwest Oregon District Blog - http://www.swofire.com/
 
South Fork Complex (partially on ODF protected lands). These July 31 lightning-caused fires cover approximately 65,138 acres and are 78% contained.
A closure is in place on the Malheur and Ochoco National Forests surrounding the fires.

More information online: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4042/  
Fire Information Office Phone: 1-866-347-0636 www.southforkcomplex.blogspot.com 

ABOUT THIS UPDATE

ODF is responsible for fire protection on about 16 million acres of private and state-owned forest and grazing land, and on certain other public forestlands including those owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in western Oregon. Fires may cross ownerships, and because of the need to share firefighting resources, agencies work closely together.

This update focuses primarily on firefighting activity on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected lands involving fires 10 acres or larger in size or of other significance. It also reports on ODF’s major actions as a partner with other agencies.

FIRES ON OTHER JURISDICTIONS IN OREGON

More information on these fires can be found at: http://nwccweb.us/index.aspx and http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/

Statewide air quality index readings are available at http://www.deq.state.or.us/aqi/index.aspx.

OTHER FIRE INFORMATION

ODF maintains a blog at http://wildfireoregondeptofforestry.blogspot.com/, which includes comprehensive breaking news on wildfires statewide, along with current fire statistics, and a frequently updated Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/ORDeptForestry. For information on wildfires in other jurisdictions within Oregon, go to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center website, http://www.nwccweb.us/ and to the national Incident Information System website at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/. Statewide air quality index readings are available at http://www.deq.state.or.us/aqi/index.aspx.

NEWS MEDIA

News media may call the Fire Information Duty Officer, (see below), 24/7 for fire information. The duty officer will call back promptly. Media may also call the Oregon Department of Forestry headquarters office, 503-945-7200, weekdays during business hours.



Cynthia Orlando, ODF
Desk 503.945.7421 Cell 503.510.7972
caorlando@odf.state.or.us


 

 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Oregon Dept. of Forestry (ODF) fire update - Aug. 18

LARGE FIRES WITHIN ODF PROTECTION

NEW LARGE FIRES
Gulch Fire (NE Oregon): reported yesterday (Sunday) five miles south of Wallowa at 46 acres. The fire is mostly contained and currently in mop-up. Crews will continue to monitor throughout the week.

UPDATES
Southwest Oregon

·       Rogue River Drive: located near Shady Cove in Jackson County (15 miles north of Medford), currently at 492 acres, and 70% contained. No structures have been lost. More information: ODF Medford Unit 541-664-3328 | Twitter - www.twitter.com/swofire/ | Southwest Oregon District Blog - http://www.swofire.com/ | NWCC - www.nwccweb.us/information/firemap.aspx 

Central Oregon

·       South Fork Complex (partially on ODF protected lands): these July 31 lightning-caused fires cover 64,990 acres and are 72% contained. A closure is in place on the Malheur and Ochoco National Forests surrounding the fires. More information: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4042/ | Fire Information Office Phone: 1-866-347-0636 www.southforkcomplex.blogspot.com | Twitter @SouthForkInfo | Facebook: South Fork Complex | southforkcomplex@gmail.com 

FIRES ON OTHER JURISDICTIONS IN OREGON
More information on these fires can be found at: http://nwccweb.us/index.aspx and http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/

FIRE STATISTICS
# of lightning-caused fires YTD & acreage on ODF protected lands: 347 fires/47,709 acres
# of human-caused fires YTD & acreage on ODF protected lands: 457 fires/9,505 acres
Total # & acres on ODF protected lands: 804 fires/57,215 acres
Total # and acres in 2013 on ODF protected lands: 852 fires/103,450 acres
Statewide air quality index readings are available at http://www.deq.state.or.us/aqi/index.aspx.

OTHER FIRE INFORMATION
ODF maintains a blog at http://wildfireoregondeptofforestry.blogspot.com/, which includes comprehensive breaking news on wildfires statewide, along with current fire statistics, and a frequently updated Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/ORDeptForestry. For information on wildfires in other jurisdictions within Oregon, go to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center website, http://www.nwccweb.us/ and to the national Incident Information System website at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/. Statewide air quality index readings are available at http://www.deq.state.or.us/aqi/index.aspx.

NEWS MEDIA
News media may call the Fire Information Duty Officer, (see below), 24/7 for fire information. The duty officer will call back promptly. Media may also call the Oregon Department of Forestry headquarters office, 503-945-7200, weekdays during business hours.


Tony Andersen | Public Information Officer
Oregon Department of Forestry
Desk (503) 945-7427
Cell   (503) 507-4481
tandersen@odf.state.or.us 
 

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 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

Extremely dry conditions exist across most forestlands in Oregon currently. Large wildfires to date this season have been both lightning- and human-caused.

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. There are about 30.4 million total 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. Suppression of large fires can run into millions of dollars.

Followers

About Me

My Photo
Oregon Dept. of Forestry's public information officers maintain this blog. During the wildfire season, we spend much of our time reporting on fires and firefighting to news media and the public.