Wednesday, June 29, 2016

July 4th weekend on your federal public lands in Central Oregon

IFPL 2 to go into effect next Wednesday, July 6

Central Oregon – As we approach July 4th weekend, federal land managers are asking for the public’s help in keeping your public lands safe. Leave fireworks and exploding targets at home, and be sure to properly extinguish all campfires.

Federal land managers will also raise the Industrial Fire Protection Level to level 2 beginning next Wednesday, July 6, at 12:01 am. IFPL 2, also known as “Partial Hootowl,” prohibits the use of chainsaws and other power equipment between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. (More information on IFPL can be found here).

While the upper elevations across Central Oregon are still green in many places, the lower elevations are drying out and weather predictions call for continued warming and drying trends.

Throughout the Central Oregon Fire Management Service area, there have been 101 wildfires so far this year that have burned close to 10,000 acres. Of those, 73 fires have been human-caused.

Last weekend, Central Oregon experienced three human-caused fires, the most visible last Sunday on the shore of Crane Prairie Reservoir. On Monday, a human-caused fire started near Allen Creek horse camp on the Ochoco National Forest and grew to half an acre.

Earlier in the season, Central Oregon experienced two large fires along river corridors. Annual campfire restrictions along the Deschutes, John Day and Crooked Rivers, as well as on BLM-administered lands along Lake Billy Chinook, remain in effect.

Remember: possessing, discharging, or using any kind of firework or other pyrotechnic device on National Forest System lands is prohibited year-round, regardless of weather conditions or holidays. Fireworks and exploding targets are banned on BLM-administered lands in Oregon from May 27, 2016 to October 14, 2016

Visitors are encouraged to enjoy one of the many community fireworks displays that will be offered throughout Central Oregon on the Fourth of July. 
Visitors to public lands should always use caution to prevent human-caused wildfires. To reduce the risk, please consider the following:

  • Fireworks are never allowed on federal public lands during summer months. Even smaller devices like sparklers can start fires.

·         Before going camping, learn of any fire restrictions in place and never leave a campfire unattended. Build campfires in cleared open areas, and keep water and a shovel nearby. Make sure campfires are out and cool to the touch before leaving the area.

  • When smoking, always dispose of cigarette debris in some type of an ashtray.
  • Avoid driving and parking in tall grass or on roads with heavy fine fuels accumulations. Exhaust particles, hot exhaust pipes and hot catalytic converters can start grass fires. Maintain proper tire pressure. Driving on exposed wheel rims can throw sparks.

  • Sparks from dragging chains, and exhaust from ATVs and motorcycles, can start grass fires. Spark arresters are required on all recreational and portable gasoline-powered equipment.

Our public lands are precious resources we all use and enjoy. This Fourth of July holiday, let the night skies be your show.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Akawana Fire Update - June 13

Oregon Department of Forestry
Incident Management Team 3
Link Smith, Incident Commander

Akawana Fire Update
June 13, 2016 9:00 a.m.

Note: This will be the final update from this team.
Sisters, OR –  Oregon Department of Forestry’s Type 1 Incident Management Team, led by Incident Commander Link Smith, will hand the fire over to a smaller type 3 organization tomorrow. The Team would like to thank the Sisters, Three Rivers and Grandview communities for their kind hospitality and support during our stay.

The size of the fire remains 2,094 acres and is now 80 percent contained.

While fire crews have reached at least 300 feet into the fire from the perimeter with mop up operations, residents may see smoke for several days from burning stumps and snags well within containment lines.

The Type 3 Team in place for the next few days is made up of about 140 firefighters and support staff. Equipment assigned to the fire with this team will include three engines, four tenders, two bull dozers, three skidgines and one helicopter. The fire camp will be moved to Oregon Department of Forestry’s Sisters sub-unit office.

Now that the smoke has cleared over the Akawana Fire, residents should continue to treat fire season with respect. Everyone is encouraged to follow current fire season restrictions to prevent human caused fires.

In addition, residents who live in the wildland urban interface, where communities border forests and grazing lands, should always be prepared before fire threatens communities. Have a plan that includes making arrangements for persons with special needs, livestock and pets. Learn more about the Ready Set Go Program at 

To stay up to date on fire information in central Oregon, please follow Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District on Facebook. Other valuable resources include,, and

The incident management team would also like to recognize and thank all cooperating agencies that assisted us in the complete and coordinated fire protection system on this fire. Agencies and partners included the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office and responding structural task forces from around the state, Lake Chinook Fire District, the Central Oregon Fire Management Service, Crooked River National Grasslands, PGE/Warms Springs Tribes Land Ownership, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Jefferson and Deschutes County Emergency Management.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Oregon Department of Forestry
Incident Management Team 3
Link Smith, Incident Commander

Akawana Fire Update
June 12, 2016 9:00 a.m.

Sisters, OR –  All evacuation notices for the Akawana Fire will officially be lifted at 10:00 a.m. today. Residents not only effected by this fire, but throughout Oregon, are encouraged to treat fire season as if they are under a level 1 evacuation notice by being ready and prepared in the event a fire impacts their community. Residents can get ready by assembling emergency supplies and belongings in a safe place, planning escape routes and ensuring all those residing within the home know the plan of action. Learn more by visiting
The fire has burned 2,094 acres and is currently 72 percent contained. Total firefighting costs at this point are about $2.3 million.
Firefighters anticipate another favorable day of weather for mop up operations into the fire’s interior. Stronger winds are expected to return to the area tomorrow, which will serve as a mild test for the fire staying within its current footprint. Crews working on this fire are also available to help local resources, should any new fires occur within the area.
Cooperating agencies assisting in the fire suppression effort include the Central Oregon Fire Management Service, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Jefferson and Deschutes County Emergency Management.     

For the latest updates on the fire, log on to

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Akawana Fire Update - June 11, 2016

Akawana Fire Update
June 11, 2016 7:30 a.m.

Sisters, OR Fire crews were very successful yesterday and overnight thanks to hard work, cool temperatures and higher humidity. All level 2 evacuation notifications have now been lowered to level 1 (be ready). This includes homes in the 3 Rivers subdivision (as of June 9th), Forest Park, Air Park, Rim Park and their outlying areas (as of yesterday). Gusty afternoon winds spurred one spot fire across containment lines in the southeast corner of the fire that crews, equipment and helicopters quickly attacked and extinguished. Infrared imaging taken overnight shows a solid decrease in heat near the fire’s perimeter.

The fire has burned 2,094 acres and has line completely around it. It is currently 60 percent contained. Total firefighting costs are close to $1.8 million.

Firefighters anticipate favorable weather today as they focus their efforts on mop up operations into the fire’s interior. While some heavy equipment and air resources are being released, additional crews are being brought in to do the more labor intensive dirty work of digging out hot spots from beneath stumps and soaking larger fuels on the ground. Crews working on this fire are also available to help local resources, should any new fires occur within the area.

To date, just one minor hand injury has occurred.

Structural task forces working under the Conflagration Act have been released to return to their home areas. The threat to structures has decreased significantly and conditions continue to improve. OSFM’s Green IMT will remain on the incident through this morning to help ensure a smooth transition.
Cooperating agencies assisting in the fire suppression effort include the Central Oregon Fire Management Service, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Jefferson and Deschutes County Emergency Management.     

For the latest updates on the fire, log on to

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Akawana Fire Update, June 9, 2pm

The fire is looking favorable as we enter the witching hour and increased afternoon winds. There has been substantial cloud cover and a trace of precipitation over the fire in the last few hours. A southwest wind has been testing the north-northeast corner of the fire, where a concerted effort with dozers and hand crews have focused their efforts. Fire behavior has been described as creeping, but still pushing. We will have more information later this evening after our night shift briefing around 7pm

Tom Fields

ODF Team 3

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Central Oregon Lightning Maps, June 8

These two maps represent lightning strikes (in blue) in the past 72 hours (as of 12pm, June 8, 2016)

Update on Akawana Fire, June 8, 2016 - 12pm

News Release
Oregon Department of Forestry Central District Office
News Contact: Erik Pronold
Cell#: 541-588-2232

Wednesday June 8, 2016

Akawana Fire Triggers Level 2 Evacuation Notice for Three Rivers
Sisters, OR – Oregon Department of Forestry Central Oregon District is responding to a several hundred acre fire on Akawa Butte 13 miles north of Sisters.  The Three Rivers Subdivision is on a level 2 evacuation notice.  Level 2 indicates that residents should be set for a potential evacuation.  Residents must be prepared to leave at a moments notice.

The lightning caused fire was reported on Tuesday June 7th at 1400 hours.  The 5% contained fire is currently burning on private forest land.  Heavy dead and down fuel along with 15 to 20 mile per hour winds are causing torching and spotting of the fire.  The winds have been picking up as the day has progressed.  Two fire suppression handcrews, three fire engines, and three bulldozers are working aggressively on direct fire line with the aid of a variety of aerial support helicopters and planes. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

ODF Declares Fire Season in Central Oregon District

Fire Season 2016 will begin Friday June 3rd at 12:01 am for ODF’s Central Oregon District (COD).  Warm spring temperatures have quickly melted the winter snowpack and dried wildland fuels.  District fire managers have monitored fuel indices over the last few weeks to determine fire danger and the risk of fire spread.  Long term weather forecasts indicate a pattern of above normal temperatures with minimal possibility of precipitation, further drying fuels.

June 28, 2015—Sugarloaf Fire in Grant County

With implementation of fire season, burn permits issued earlier this spring may not be valid, check with your local ODF office before burning.  Industrial slash and debris burning will no longer be allowed on ODF protected lands.  Landowners are encouraged to check burn piles/areas which were burned earlier this spring or late last fall for any hold-over heat.  In addition to these restrictions, logging and other industrial operations must meet requirements for fire prevention, such as fire tools, water supply, and watchman service when those operations are occurring on lands protected by ODF.  Contact your local stewardship forester for more information.

Recreationists are asked to put fire prevention into practice, be deliberate with your actions.  Make sure campfires are DEAD OUT!  Never leave a fire unattended.  Clear the area around your campfire, removing flammable material outside the campfire.  Fully extinguish cigarettes and properly dispose of them.  The public is also reminded that sky lanterns and the use of tracer ammunition or exploding targets is illegal within the District during fire season. 
COD had sixteen more human caused fires in the 2015 Fire Season than the ten year average (2005-2014), which accounted for 60% of the total fire starts in the District for 2015.  “We can’t predict when and how many lightning fires we will get, but we can reduce the number of human starts by being smart and deliberate in our actions,” says Central Oregon District Forester, Mike Shaw.  For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit