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.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Lost Hubcap Fire - Sept. 1 morning update

Lost Hubcap Fire
Oregon Department of Forestry Incident Management Team 2, IC Cline
September 1, 2014, 8 a.m.

Fire Information Phone: 541-421-3039

Current Situation:

Hand crews and dozers will continue the hard work of completing a line around the fire perimeter today. There is approximately 2.25 of the 14.25 miles of line left to construct.

Last night an infra-red flight was flown that mapped the perimeter of the fire and detected the hot spots for the fire fighters to focus on today. Other firefighters used hand-held palm IR (infra-red) units that detect heat buried deep in the ground. Heat spots are marked for day firefighters to dig out and extinguish.

On the east side of the fire, firefighters will begin the next stage: mop-up. Mop-up involves firefighters digging out hot spots and extinguishing all remaining heat. Mop-up starts along the perimeter and moves toward the center of the fire. Crews are working toward extinguishing 100% of all smokes in a 100 ft. zone in the grass/brush, 300 ft in the timber and to fall all snags within 500 ft. At morning briefing, Day Operations Chief Joe Hessel directed the crews to "Dig deep and do thorough mop-up the first time." Once hot spots are dug out, the spot is marked to be rechecked at least twice.

There have been no injuries to incident firefighters.

The incident command post is located at 289 East Hardisty St. (in the community center), Long Creek, Ore.

FIRE AT A GLANCE (09/01/14)

Size: 2,984 acres
Cause: under investigation
Containment: 25%
Expected full containment: 9-6-14

Crews and Equipment:
Crews: 21
Air Tankers: 0
Helicopters: 6
Engines: 19
Dozers: 8
Water Tenders: 9
Total personnel: 631

Estimated Costs to Date: $1.68 million

For More Information:

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Lost Hubcap Fire - update Aug. 31, evening

Current Situation:
Today’s goal for the fire fighters was to complete the fireline around the entire fire perimeter.   Hand crews and dozers will continue working through tonight to try meet that goal. 

Although the fire didn’t increase in size today, the warmer temperatures and lower relative humidity affected fire behavior.  Moderate burning and smokes were visible and some torching of timber was seen on the west side of the fire.

On the east side of the fire, where there are lighter fuels and fewer hot spots, crews were able to start mop-up.  The spot fire in the southern portion of the fire is 100% lined and mop-up has begun. Crews assisted by helicopter water drops focused on extinguishing any fire outside the perimeter.  Fallers continue working on dropping snags along roads.

Dennis Perilli, fire behavior analyst, commented that “While yesterday’s rainfall helped dampen the lighter fuels and extinguish small smokes -it didn’t soak into the larger fuels enough to put the fire out.”

Firefighter resources are expected to remain the same over the next 2-3 days with both day and night shifts. 

There have been no injuries to incident firefighters. 

The incident command post is located at 289 East Hardisty St. (in the community center), Long Creek, Ore.
Size:   2,984 acres
Cause: under investigation
Containment:  10%
Expected full containment:  unknown
Crews and Equipment: 
  Hand crews:        18                 
  Air Tankers:          0 
  Helicopters:          5 
  Engines:                6      
  Dozers:                  7         
  Water Tenders:     6
  Total personnel: 423
Estimated Costs to Date: $705,854
For More Information:

Lost Hubcap Fire - morning update , Aug. 31

Oregon Department of Forestry Incident Management Team 2, IC Cline

Fire Information Phone: 541-421-3039

Current Situation:
Last night an infra-red flight was flown that mapped the perimeter of the fire and detected the hot spots for the fire fighters to focus on today.  The mapping unit mapped the fire at 2,984 acres.  There was minimal growth in the fire size since Saturday night. 

The fire perimeter is mapped at 14.23 miles. To put this another way, imagine walking from downtown Portland to Vancouver Lake in Vancouver, Washington.
Yesterday's approximate half inch of rain helped the fire fighters efforts by wetting the fuels and extinguishing light smokes.  No rain is forecasted for today.   Cooler temperatures and higher humidity will keep the fire activity to a minimum. 

Fire fighters will focus on completing the fireline around the entire perimeter today, mostly on the west side.  Day Operations Section Chief Joe Hessel stated "Today's mission is clear - with a good day of hard work, we can fill in the gaps and get a line tied around this fire". 

On portions of the fire where the line is completed, crews will begin to lay hose and fittings in preparation for the next phase: mop-up. 

There have been no injuries to incident firefighters. 

The incident command post is located at 289 East Hardisty St. (in the community center), Long Creek, Ore.

Size:   2,984 acres
Cause: under investigation  
Containment:  10%
Crews: 18                                         
Air Tankers: 0 
Helicopters: 5
Engines: 6     
Dozers: 7        
Water Tenders: 6
Total personnel: 350
Estimated Costs to Date: $705,854
For More Information:
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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Lost Hubcap Fire - 6 p.m., Aug. 30 update

Oregon Dept. of Forestry Incident Management Team 2
Incident Commander Chris Cline
Fire information phone: 541-421-3039

The Oregon Dept. of Forestry's (ODF) Central Oregon District Type 3 Team transferred command of the Lost Hubcap Fire to ODF Incident Management Team 2 at noon today.

The fire was reported on Aug. 29, 2014, at approx. 1 p.m., burning on Bureau of Land Management(BLM) Prineville District and private lands in timber and grass fuels.

Local private firefighting resources along with fire departments from Long Creek, Monument, Mt. Vernon, John Day, Canyon City and Prairie City assisted ODF in initial-attack. There were four structures initially threatened but protected by the efforts of the local fire departments.

The fire is located approx. five miles south of Monument, Oregon. Initially the fire was reported at one acre and quickly grew to over 100 acres due to a combination of dry fuels, topography, and winds that pushed the fire southeast nearly four miles to more than 1,000 acres in size.

In addition to the team, more hand crews, fire engines and overhead personnel are arriving today. IC Cline said that "Our objectives are clear: We will work to establish control lines and minimize the fire's growth."

The fire team operations section is on the fire line actively engaged in suppression efforts.

The incident command post is located at 289 East Hardisty St. (in the community center), Long Creek, Oregon. News releases will be issued twice daily.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Lost Hubcap Fire breaks out in John Day Unit - Team deployed

The Lost Hubcap Fire has burned 1,200-1,500 acres nine miles south of the community of Monument in the Central Oregon District's John Day Unit. The Oregon Dept. of Forestry (ODF) deployed an incident management team Friday evening to take command of the firefighting effort. The fire was reported around 1:30 p.m. Friday burning in grass, sagebrush and juniper fuels. ODF has two heavy air tankers, four single-engine air tankers and one helicopter fighting the fire, along with six fire engines, four bulldozers and district hand crews. Additional resources from the South Fork Complex are assisting. The Monument and John Day Rural Fire departments are successfully protecting residences threatened by the wind-driven fire. Cause of the fire is under investigation.

Oregon Dept. of Forestry fire update - Aug. 29, 2014

New fires
No new fires 10 acres or larger were reported on lands protected by the Oregon Dept. of Forestry (ODF) in the past 24 hours.

Current fires
The 2,102-acre Deception Complex two miles west of the community of Oakridge grew on the NE end Thursday. The complex is 45 percent contained. ODF is in unified command with Oregon Team 4, led by incident commander Brian Watts. Ross Holloway is IC for ODF, and other department overhead (fire management) personnel have been assigned to the complex as well. ODF is focusing its efforts on the northeast side of the fire closest to Oakridge. ODF personnel have been working with private landowners, evaluating the wildfire risk to their property and assisting them in creating defensible space.

The department is also working with the U.S. Forest Service to complete fire line on Deception Ridge to prevent the fire from moving onto private lands. ODF has about 25 total personnel at the complex, and a strike team of five fire engines. For more information:

ODF is responsible for fire protection on about 16 million acres of private and state-owned forest and grazing land, and 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.

More information on these fires can be found at: and

Statewide air quality index readings are available at

Rod Nichols
Oregon Dept. of Forestry
503-945-7425 office


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Hunters beware of fire danger

Tom Fields, Oregon Dept. of Forestry, (503) 945-7440
Michelle Dennehy, Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, (503) 931-2748

Fire danger is at critical levels across the state of Oregon. Earlier this month fire weather forecasters witnessed an anomaly that literally raised a red flag. Practically the entire state had been painted red on meteorological charts indicating a Red Flag Warning from Florence to Ontario, Astoria to Brookings and nearly everywhere in-between.

“It’s already been a tough fire season,” says Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Fire Prevention Coordinator Tom Fields. “Firefighting resources have been stretched thin throughout the region and we have a long way to go. The last thing we need right now is a rash of preventable human-caused fires.”

Wildland fire professionals work hard to raise awareness as outdoor enthusiasts head to the forests to enjoy what nature has to offer. With hunting season looming (deer and elk archery seasons kick off Aug. 30), Fields says the message remains clear; “Be part of the solution, not the problem.”

“Careless campfires can destroy habitat, which in turn affects the wildlife and future hunting opportunities,” added Kristin Babbs, executive director of the Keep Oregon Green Association. “What we do now can affect our enjoyment of the great outdoors in years to come.”

Wildfires can be beneficial for wildlife habitat when they create early seral habitat (young forbs and trees) or create a mosaic of habitat types that provides food and cover for wildlife.  But often wildfires are followed by an invasion of noxious weeds like cheatgrass which worsen habitat conditions. When wildfires are followed by a tough winter, game animals may have difficulty finding enough food to survive the winter season.

Follow fire restrictions
As hunters prepare for the 2014 season, the Oregon Department of Forestry, ODFW and its partners ask that hunters take extra caution to keep fires from occurring. Know about restrictions before you go afield and follow them. Below are some of the most common:

·       Campfires are either prohibited or only allowed in approved campgrounds in many areas.

·       Smoking and off road driving is also prohibited, which includes motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles.

·       Vehicles must have either a gallon of water or a fully charged and operational 2½-pound fire extinguisher, plus one ax and one shovel (except when travelling on state highways or county roads).

·        ATVs must have a charged and operational 2½ pound fire extinguisher.

The use of tracer ammunition and exploding targets is also illegal during fire season under legislation passed last year (HB 3199). Be fire smart and use other methods to sight in your rifles. Place targets in areas away from dry vegetation and hard surfaces like rocky hillsides that could spark a fire.

Know before you go
Before heading out, check with land management agencies in the area you plan hunt for restrictions or closures.

Private timberland: For a list of corporate closures, visit ODF’s web site at under Wildfires /Forest Restrictions & Closures / Landowner / Corporate Closure Chart. This chart is updated frequently and also contains a phone number to get the latest information about restrictions directly from the timber company.

According to Mark Wall, Forestry Manager with Roseburg Resources Co, restrictions can change quickly.  “During fire season, it’s a week to week decision for Roseburg to determine what kind of public recreational access is appropriate for its timberlands.  We continually monitor the weather forecast and current fire danger indices to guide our decision making,” he said.  “Timber companies have made significant investments in their lands and it is essential that we do all what we can to protect our working forests from the threat of human caused wildfires.”

Wall urges anyone looking to hunt on private timberlands to first check with the landowner for the latest closure information and any landowner specific restrictions that might be in effect if access is allowed.  (Find out about restrictions on Roseburg properties by calling 541-784-2895.)

Public land: Check the U.S. Forest Service, BLM or Oregon State Forest website or call them for closures and restrictions. Also visit

ODFW’s Phillip W. Schneider Wildlife Area (Murderers Creek Unit, Grant County) remains closed to all access as of today due to the South Fork Complex Fire. “Once the fire is contained, ODFW will work directly with local fire officials to reopen portions of the wildlife area as fire fighter and public safety permits,” says Wildlife Area Manager Dan Marvin.

2014 fire season
Nearly 800,000 acres have burned in 2014 on lands protected by ODF, the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Rangeland Protective Associations. The 2014 fire season has already reached record proportions and the summer is far from over.

Much of the damage has come in the form of lightning-packed thunderstorms, something firefighters can prepare for, but can’t prevent. Human-caused fires, on the other hand, are something all Oregonians can do something about. The 6,900-acre Two Bulls Fire and the 2,535-acre Moccasin Hill Fire are two large fires this season that were started by people. The Moccasin Hill Fire also destroyed 35 structures.

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:

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.


About Me

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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.