Friday, June 29, 2018

We've Moved

We have designed a new website that will soon be taking the place of this blog. The new site is available now and we encourage you to add it to your bookmarked sites.

It will continue to be your one-stop-shop for all things wildfire and prescribed fire in central Oregon and it also has helpful information on smoke. This site will soon automatically redirect to that site but we will try to continue posting information here for the time being but we look forward to continuing to provide you with up-to-date fire information on the new website at:

Industrial Fire Precaution Level to Raise on Tuesday

The public is also reminded to use caution on public lands for the upcoming holiday week

Central Oregon – Hot and dry temperatures have prompted fire officials for the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests and Crooked River National Grassland along with the Prineville District Bureau of Land Management to raise the Industrial Fire Precaution Level from I to II.

The fire danger level remains at HIGH in Central Oregon and fire officials and fire officials will raise the Industrial Fire Precaution Level to II 12:01 a.m. on July 3. A Level II or “Partial Hoot Owl” means the use of power saws and equipment maintenance may only happen between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m.

Fire officials encourage the public to be diligent with all ignitions sources on public lands. Ensuring all cigarette butts are properly extinguished in an ashtray or dish of water and spark arrestors are in place on all motorized equipment. Additionally, all motorized recreationists should park in areas cleared of vegetation – the undercarriage of a vehicle can be hot enough to start a fire.

While fire restrictions are not yet in place on most public lands in Central Oregon, the public is encouraged to make sure campfires are built in areas void of light fuels such as grass and that you have an adequate amount of water to ensure that it is ‘dead out’ when you leave the area or go to bed at night. Be sure to ‘Know Before You Go’ if you can have a campfire as seasonal campfire restrictions are already in place on portions of the Deschutes, John Day and Crooked Rivers as well as on BLM-administered lands along Lake Billy Chinook.

Officials want to remind the public that using explosive target material, such as Tannerite, and the use of explosives and fireworks continue to be prohibited on all federal lands. Discharging fireworks on federal public lands is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and a sentence of up to six months in jail. 

For more information, visit and follow us on twitter @CentralORFire. 


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Update for the Boxcar and Jack Knife Fires, June 27 9:00 a.m.

Boxcar Fire:   100,207 acres      Containment: 85%             Reported: June 21, 7:48 a.m.             Cause: Lightning
Jack Knife Fire:  15,676 acres   Containment: 90% Reported: June 22, 8:11 a.m.             Cause: Lightning

Maupin, Oregon – Despite gusty winds and low relative humidity yesterday, firefighters continued to improve containment lines and mop up. Estimated containment of the Boxcar Fire has increased to 85%, with 95% containment accomplished for the Jack Knife Fire. There was no significant growth of the fires yesterday. The small increase in acreage is due to more accurate mapping.

Crews and air resources are targeting any remaining hotspots near firelines, but mopping-up and patrolling are the major activities occurring today. Many resources are being released to support fire suppression efforts throughout the nation.

A local Type 3 Incident Management Team led by Incident Commander Shannon Prather will shadow NWIMT #13 and begin managing the Boxcar Fire tomorrow at 7:00 a.m.  The Jack Knife fire will enter patrol status. Unless conditions change, this will be the final daily Update specific to these fires. Fire information will continue to be available through the Central Oregon Fire Management Service, through the contact sites provided above.

Overall, smoke in the fire area is minimal, with few sources well within the fire’s perimeter. Areas along the South East flank continue to have some residual heat beneath juniper trees. Smoke will continue to decrease as fuels are consumed.

Today’s weather will be similar to yesterday (82 degrees), with an expected weak cold front moving in at 2:00 p.m., affecting weather conditions until approximately 10:00 p.m.  Winds are anticipated to increase to 20 mph on the ridge tops and relative humidity will be less than 20%. Fire Behavior Analyst Dean Warner cautions that, “If any new fire is detected or created, rates of spread will be surprisingly fast.  If fire establishes in concentrated fuel, expect fire to burn intensely.”

As summer progresses, raising temperatures and drying grass, brush and trees, we ask the community and visitors to stay particularly vigilant in being fire safe.

All roads in the vicinity of Maupin are open and the Deschutes River is open to recreation. When entering burned areas remember that hillsides can become unstable due to reduced vegetation. Rocks may dislodge and become a hazard along roadways. If precipitation occurs, flash flooding can move large amounts of soil and debris. Always be aware of potential hazards when moving through recently burned areas.

A Level 1 Evacuation Notification continues to be in place for the area bounded by Hwy 97, Bakeoven Road, the Deschutes River, and the South Junction Road. Residents should be aware of the local wildfires and consider how they would evacuate should conditions change.

Rising fire danger prompts public use restrictions in Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District

[Prineville, Ore,] The Central Oregon District off the Oregon Department of Forestry is implementing Regulated-Use Closure effective at 12:01 a.m., Friday June 29, 2018. These lands include private, municipal and state lands protected by the Central Oregon District. “Recent fire activity has shown a significant potential for rapid fire growth,” says Rob Pentzer, Assistant District Forester. “We are looking to reduce potential fire starts from high risk activities.” The public use restrictions included in the Regulated-Use Closure are intended to limit preventable ignitions, allowing firefighters to focus on fires started by lightning.

Activities below are restricted by this closure. Additional restrictions and the full proclamation can be accessed at

• Possession of the following firefighting equipment is required while traveling in a motorized vehicle, except on federal and state highways, county roads and driveways: one shovel and one gallon of water or one operational 2½ pound or larger fire extinguisher, except all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles which must be equipped with an approved spark arrestor in good working condition.

• Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads.

• Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except in designated areas.

• Chainsaw use is prohibited, between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Chainsaw use is permitted at all other hours, if the following firefighting equipment is present with each operating saw: one axe, one shovel, and one operational 8 ounce or larger fire extinguisher. In addition, a fire watch is required at least one hour following the use of each saw.

• Mowing of dried grass with power driven equipment is prohibited, between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., except for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.

• Use of motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, is prohibited, except on improved roads and except for vehicle use by a landowner and employees of the landowner upon their own land while conducting activities associated with their livelihood.

• The use of fireworks and blasting is prohibited.

Beginning July 1, 2018 open burning including burn barrels in Hood River and Wasco counties will be prohibited.

The public is also reminded that the use of tracer ammunition or exploding targets is illegal within the District during fire season. As of January 1, 2017 sky lanterns and other luminaries are prohibited in Oregon.

For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Update – June 26, 9:00 p.m.

Redmond, OregonFirefighters responded to two incidents this afternoon, the first was approximately one and a half miles east of Sunriver and the other was immediately adjacent to Prineville.

Incident #477 east of Sunriver was held at ½ an acre this afternoon. Firefighters responded with two engines and two crews and were able to call the fire contained and controlled by the end of the day. The cause of this fire is under investigation.

The Barnes Butte Fire, incident #480, was under the joint command of firefighters from Central Oregon Fire Management Service (COFMS) and Crook County. The fire ignited just outside of Prineville and but was held to 16 acres with the help of 5 Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATs), 5 helicopters, 8 engines, one hand crew and one hotshot crew. Firefighters will continue mopping up around the fire perimeter, which will be monitored by Crook County through the night. The cause of this fire is under investigation.

The public is reminded to be careful with any ignitions on public lands. Central Oregon recently moved to HIGH fire danger, meaning fuels are very receptive to ignitions. If you are recreating on public lands, remember to remain diligent about ensuring all fires are ‘dead out’ and cold to the touch, all spark arrestors are properly installed, and trailer chains are secured.


Boxcar and Jack Knife Fire Update, June 26, 9:00 a.m.

June 26, 2018  9:00 a.m. Update

 Boxcar Fire:   99,500 acres   Containment: 60%      Reported: June 21, 7:48 a.m.     Cause: Lightning

Jack Knife Fire:  14,772 acres   Containment: 80%   Reported: June 22, 8:11 a.m.   Cause: Lightning

 Maupin, Oregon – Despite gusty winds yesterday, cooler weather helped firefighters continue to build and improve containment lines. Estimated containment for the Boxcar Fire has increased to 60% and for the Jack Knife Fire to 80%.

 The Boxcar Fire is now 99,500 acres.  More than 100 miles of containment line on the fire are being monitored by firefighters who mop-up hotspots as they are found. Emphasis is still being directed in the Deschutes River Canyon where heat can persist under juniper trees and sage brush. Steep, rocky, inaccessible terrain is a challenge for firefighters in this area. A BLM jet boat transported firefighters up river yesterday to assess structures and develop contingency plans, should fire activity increase.

Yesterday afternoon, as firefighters were completing fireline on the East flank of the Boxcar Fire, some active fire between Highway 197 and Bakeoven Road was suppressed with helicopter water drops.  Overall, smoke in the fire area was minimal in comparison to past days, with a few sources well within the fire’s perimeter.  The smoke will continue to decrease as time passes and the fuels are consumed.

The Jack Knife Fire remains at 14,772 acres. Firefighters continued to search for hotspots yesterday.  Little to no heat or smoke was found within the fire perimeter. In order to be closer to their assigned area, firefighters have been staying at a satellite camp in the town of Moro.  As the Jack Knife Fire shifts to patrol status, fewer firefighters are needed and will base from the primary Fire Camp in Maupin.

The Boxcar (including South Junction) and Jack Knife Fires are full suppression fires, with priorities of protecting firefighter and public safety and limiting impact to structures, natural and cultural resources.  The response to these fires has been a cooperative effort by local ranchers, the Central Oregon Fire Management Service, and the Ashwood-Antelope Rural Fire Protection Association. Lightning ignited over 70 fires across Central Oregon June 20 and 21.  Of the hundreds of lightning strikes, only 4 became large wildfires.

Today’s weather will be warmer than yesterday (82 degrees) with lower relative humidity (20%).  Winds will be approximately 10 mph from the north/northwest.  This will be a relatively benign weather day, with opportunity to complete firefighting tasks.  However, with the onset of summer, warming temperatures and unseasonably dry grassy fuels, we ask the community and visitors to stay vigilant in being fire safe. Just one spark can start a wildfire. Dragging trailer chains, leaving campfires unattended, parking in dry grass, discharging firearms or fireworks, tossing cigarettes, and using mechanical equipment without spark arrestors are all known causes of wildfires.


·         The John Day River camping closures associated with the Jack Knife Fire have been lifted today.

·         A Level 1 Evacuation Notification continues to be in place for the area bounded by Hwy 97, Bakeoven Road, the Deschutes River, and the South Junction Road. Residents should be aware of the local wildfires and consider how they would evacuate should conditions change.

Graham Fire Final Update June 26, 2018 7:00 A.M.

After three days with no additional perimeter growth and well-established control lines, the ODF Incident Management Team 2 will be handing management of the Graham Fire back to Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District Wednesday morning. Control lines around the fire’s perimeter have been mopped up to at least 50 feet. However, local residents may still expect to see occasional smoke from pockets of unburnt fuel smoldering in the fire’s interior. If residents see flames or spot fires they are advised to call 911.

Resources on the fire today include: 10 hand crews, 2 helicopters, 17 engines, 1 dozer, 3 water tenders and 338 personnel. Containment is estimated at 85%.

ODF’s Central Oregon District will continue the use of additional engines and fire crews to achieve 100% containment. The District strategies will include daily engine patrols and mop up operations.

The Graham Fire was a hot, fast-moving wildfire driven by strong winds, dry conditions and light flashy fuels that burned in the wildland urban interface in and around the community of Three Rivers. The firestorm torched trees and produced 100’ flame lengths. Thanks to the responsive efforts of local wildland and structural suppression forces as well as prior defensible space created by local residents, the fire was held to 2,175 acres.

Team 2 fire managers leave behind an excellent safety record. More than 300 personnel were assigned to the incident and no injuries were reported.

ODF’s Central Oregon District will continue to provide occasional updates on the fire status. The new public information contact is Jamie Knight: 541-963-3168,

Central Oregon Fire Info :