Thursday, July 31, 2014

Fires caught at initial attack in NEO

Fire fighters from the Northeast Oregon District responded to three fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry today.  Each of these fires were caught at initial attack.  Fire crews will monitor these fires for hot spots and continue to watch for additional starts.  Thunderstorms are forecast for the area over the next few days as well as the potential for holdovers from todays storm.

Lightning starts fires in Northeast Oregon

Thunderstorms passing through northeast Oregon ignited several fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry Northeast Oregon District.  Firefighters are currently responding to fires with partners from the US Forest Service, rural fire departments, and local contractors.  Significant rain fell under the core of the storm as it passed, but there was little moisture on the edges of the storm.

A fire in the Chestnut Springs area of Wallowa County is visible from the Minam Grade on Hwy 82.  This fire has several helicopters, 4 engines, 4 rappellers, and a dozer working on it.  A load of retardant from a Single Engine Air Tanker (SEAT) was dropped to slow the spread of the fire.  It is currently estimated at less than an acre.  Crews are close to finishing a wet line around the fire and  Matt Howard, Wallowa Unit Wildland Fire Supervisor says, "We're gonna catch it".  Fire fighters will continue to strengthen firelines and mop-up the fire. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

High Fire Danger in Northeast Oregon District-ODF

Northeast Oregon remains in high fire danger with the forecast of very hot temperatures and lightning.  Fire fighters are preparing for a busy few days.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Severe Thunderstorms Pass Through Oregon

Yesterday (July 22) thunderstorms blanketed much of Oregon with lightning.  Over 10,000 lightning strikes were recorded, igniting numerous new wildfires.  In the Northeast Oregon (NEO) District of the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) crews responded to four fires on ODF protected lands.

Engines from NEO in cooperation with federal resources quickly extinguished two of these fires at 1/10 of an acre.  A fire in northern Wallowa County was caught at 3.9 acres.   The largest of the fires from yesterday on ODF protected land is the Eden Fire.  This fire was burning on the north side of the Grande Ronde River in Wallowa County near the mouth of Sickfoot Creek.  Moderating conditions coupled with retardant drops from Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATs) along with two Type 1 helicopters and a Type two helicopter effectively stopped the spread of the fire upslope and allowed crews to hold the fire at approximately 55 acres. Today two 20 person contract crews, a Forest Service crew, four rappelers, and two engines along with overhead are strengthening firelines and mopping up hot spots.  "This was a good catch as the fire had a real chance of becoming another large fire on the landscape," stated Matt Howard, Fire Protection Supervisor for the Wallowa Unit of ODF.

One new fire on ODF protection was picked up early this morning, burning only 1/10 of an acre.  Fire crews are actively engaged with US Forest Service resources to initial attack fires as they have been reported.  Scattered lightning is in the forecast for northeast Oregon this afternoon and evening.  A reconnaissance flight later today will fly over the area looking for additional fires. 


The Northeast Oregon District of the Oregon Department of Forestry is responsible for providing protection from wildfire on over 1.8 million acres of forest and rangelands in Baker, Union, Umatilla, and Wallowa Counties.  The district staffs 20 fire engines during fire season with 46 firefighters.  The District also has two dozers, two water tender, and seasoned overhead to direct fire management efforts along with a capable administrative staff.  Through fire severity funding, the district frequently has two Single Engine Air Tankers and a Type 2 or medium sized water dropping helicopter at our disposal.  The mission of the district is to suppress wildfire and serve as part of the complete and coordinated wildfire protection system by working with federal and local cooperators, landowners, contractors, and the public. 

Fire season 2014 began June 11th, the earliest in nearly three decades for the Northeast Oregon District.  A Regulated-Use Closure was implemented July 15th to reduce human caused fires as fuel conditions continue to dry out.  Details for these restrictions can be found at  The ten year average for the district is 79 fires, burning just over 2,200 acres.