Saturday, July 6, 2013

Stratton Creek Fire Efforts Continue Today - 50% Contained

A current and more accurate sizeup of the Stratton Creek Fire was released today putting it at 145 acres, including a 13-acre spotfire south of the main body of the fire. Crews working on the Stratton Creek Fire, 11 miles southwest of Glendale and 14 miles northwest of Grants Pass, have completed a fireline around the spot fire and main body of the fire. 9 - 20 person crews, 8 type-6 engines, 8 water tenders, 2 bulldozers, 2 large (Type 1) Helicopters with buckets and a fixed wing Air Attack platform are assigned to the fire today. Two fallers are cutting down dangerous snags so crews can continue laying hose lines, extinguish pockets of fire and initiate mop-up in the 132 acres that make up the main body of the fire.

Resources on Standby:

2 Large (Type 1) Airtankers are on standby at Medford Tanker Base. Yesterday the two heavy airtankers assisted in laying retardant lines in steep terrain with thick timber fuels by dropping 12 loads of retardant on the fire's perimeter.

Objectives on the fire today: Continue containment efforts, hold the fire line, ensure appropriate flagging is in place and iniate mop-up.

Estimated Control Date: Wednesday, July 10th.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. The fire is located on public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management and Josephine County Forestry, which is protected by the Oregon Dept. of Forestry.

Hayes Hill Fire Contained - 5.5 Acres

The Hayes Hill Fire that was located 13 miles north of Cave Junction and 14 miles southwest of Grants Pass is currently contained and the fire size has been estimated at 5.5 acres. A fire line was completed around the fire perimeter yesterday and the mopping up process has begun and will continue through the next several days. Currently there is one engine from the Oregon Department of Forestry's Grants Pass unit on scene assigned to patrol and watch for any change in behavior.

Yesterday there were logging decks that continued to smolder and remained active until yesterday evening. A contracted excavator was on scene working to disperse logging slash to facilitate mop up which was putting out quite a bit of smoke in the Wonder, Selma and Wilderville areas; those communities should not be affected today.

The cause of the fire remains under invistigation.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Hayes Hill Fire Update

A fast moving wild land timber fire broke out around 11:50 p.m. yesterday, July 4th. Hayes Hill Fire is located approximately 13 miles north of Cave Junction and 14 miles southwest of Grants Pass. The fire was burning in heavy timber however has been extinguished.

The fire size is estimated at 5.5 acres, and a fire line has been completed around the perimeter. The mopping up process has been iniatated. Depending on winds smoke may be present in the Wonder, Selma and Wilderville areas.

The following resources are assigned to contain the blaze:

6 engines from the Oregon Dept. of Forestry
2 water tenders
1 bulldozer from the Oregon Dept. of Forestry
1 contracted bulldozer
1 20-person crew

On order are the following resources:

1 contracted excavator

No homes or other structures are immediately threatened by the fire.

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

Stratton Creek Fire Update

A fast-moving wild land fire started around 2:00 p.m. yesterday, July 4th. This fire is located approximately 11 miles southwest of Glendale and 14 miles northwest of Grants Pass. The fire is burning in Douglas fir timber and thick brush.

The fire size is estimated at 175 acres, and a fire line has been nearly completed around the North West main portion of the fire perimeter. However there are six small spot fires actively burning in steep timbered terrain. The objective on the fire today is to get these small spot fires contained and to start the mopping up process in the main body of the fire.

Road Closures:

Josephine County Search and Rescue currently have road closures in place at Stratton Creek Road and Hog Creek Road due to heavy equipment and fire personnel traffic.

The following resources are assigned to contain the blaze:

8 contracted engines
8 water tenders
4 bulldozers
8 20-person crews
2 large (Type 1) helicopters with water buckets
1 Fixed Wing Air Attack Platform

On order are the following resources:

2 Large (Type 1) Retardant Air Tankers

No homes or other structures are threatened by the fire.

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Stratton Creek Fire 70-75 Acres

A fast-moving fire broke out around 4:30 p.m. in the Stratton Creek drainage, approximately 12 miles northwest of Grants Pass. The fire is burning in heavy brush and dense forest, and is estimated at 70-75 acres in size. The fire has reached the top of a ridge, pushed by winds gusting 10-20 mph.

There are six crews assigned to the fire suppression operation, along with four fire engines from the Oregon Dept. of Forestry's Grants Pass Unit, four bulldozers, and three helicopters.

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Happy Fourth of July - Be Safe & Have Fun!

The following advice is provided by the Rogue Valley Fire Prevention Cooperative.
The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a professional firework display. However, if you choose to have your own display there are some steps to take to ensure your event is fun filled and not catastrophic.

  • In Oregon, fireworks are prohibited on all federal- and state-owned forestland, as well as state and county parks and campgrounds.
  • Make sure the fireworks you intend to use are legal. Any firework that travels more than 6 feet on the ground or 12 inches into the air is illegal for use in Oregon.
  • Fireworks are for outdoor use only!
  • Make sure fireworks are lit in an area free of dry vegetation and other combustible materials.
  • Always have a bucket of water, fire extinguisher or a hose immediately available when using fireworks.
  • Responsible adults should be the only ones lighting fireworks.
  • Supervise children at all times.
  • Don’t allow children to pick up pieces of used fireworks. Some may still be hot enough to burn skin and clothing.
  • It is recommended that children under 12 don’t use sparklers unless closely supervised by an adult.
  • Spectators need to keep a safe distance away from active fireworks.
  • Soak all used fireworks, even duds, in a bucket of water before disposing of them in the garbage.
  • Always follow the directions on fireworks before igniting them.
  • Be cautious of lighting any fireworks during windy conditions.
  • Last but not least, if fireworks cause a fire, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Fire Danger Level Climbs to High on Thursday, July 4 12:01

July 2, 2013                                                                                                          


OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY                                                             
SOUTHWEST OREGON DISTRICT                                                                       
5286 Table Rock RD
Central Point, OR 97502                                                                                       

Contact: Greg Alexander, Medford Unit Forester, (541) 664-3328
                 Rick Dryer, Grants Pass Unit Forester, (541) 474-3152



Due to a historically dry spring and an abrupt onset of summer weather the fire danger level on Oregon Department of Forestry protected lands in Josephine and Jackson Counties will increase High Fire Danger on Thursday July 4 at 12:00 a.m. Continued hot and dry weather outlooks have made it necessary to the move the next fire danger level which is High. Wild land fire starts are about 30% higher this year than compared to last year on ODF protected lands. Because of the high fire danger public regulated closures are necessary.

The Industrial Fire Precaution Level will remain at level 1 (one).

These regulations affect 1.8 million acres of state, private, county, city and Bureau of Land Management lands protected by ODF’s Southwest Oregon District.

Public Regulated use restrictions that will remain in effect include:
  1. Use of fireworks on forestlands is prohibited.
  2. Use of tracer ammunition or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base is prohibited.
  3. No debris burning; including piles and debris burned in burn barrels is prohibited.
These additional fire prevention restrictions go into effect July 4:
  1. Campfires will be allowed in designated campgrounds only; charcoal fires, cooking fires and    warming fires are prohibited except at designated campgrounds. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed in some locations.
  2. Mowing of dead or dry grass with power-driven equipment will not be allowed between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. This restriction does not include mowing of green lawns, or when equipment is used for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.
  3. Chain saws may not be used between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. During other hours, chain saw users must have an ax, a shovel and an 8-oz or larger fire extinguisher at the job site, and a fire watch is required for one hour after the saw is shut down.
  4. Cutting, grinding and welding of metal is prohibited, between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. Cutting, grinding and welding of metal is permitted at all other hours, if conducted in a cleared area and if a water supply is present. 
  5. Blasting is prohibited, between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.  Blasting is permitted at all other hours, if conducted in a cleared area and if a water supply is present.
  6. Use of motorized vehicles, including motorcycles and all terrain vehicles, is prohibited, except on improved roads.
  7. Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads.
  8. Possession of the following firefighting equipment is required while traveling, except on state highways and county roads and driveways: one ax, one shovel, and one gallon of water or one 2-½ lb. or larger fire extinguisher.
  9. Use of exploding targets and tracer ammunition, or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base, will be prohibited.
  10. Use of sky lanterns is prohibited.
In the Wild and Scenic section of the Rogue River between Grave Creek and Marial, the following fire prevention restrictions will remain in effect:

  • Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in boats on the water, and on sand or gravel bars that lie between water and high water marks that are free of vegetation.
  • A shovel and a one-gallon or larger bucket are required of all travelers.
  • Fireworks are prohibited
Beginning July 4, these additional restrictions take effect in the Wild and Scenic section of the Rogue River between Grave Creek and Marial:

  • Open fires will be prohibited, including campfires, cooking fires and warming fires. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels, and charcoal fires for cooking and built in raised fire pans, will be allowed on sand or gravel bars that lie between water and high water marks which are free of vegetation. Ashes must be hauled out.
For further information about fire restrictions in other parts of the Wild and Scenic Section of the Rogue River, contact the Smullin Visitor Center located at the Rand National Historic Site at (541) 479-3735, or your local Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest office. 

Information about fire season restrictions on ODF-protected lands is available online at  and at ODF Southwest Oregon District unit offices:

  • Medford Unit, 5286 Table Rock Rd: (541) 664-3328
  • Grants Pass Unit, 5375 Monument Dr: (541) 474-3152

Salem News Release: Forestry Board to meet July 11 on fire protection acreage rates

The Oregon Dept. of Forestry issued this news release today.
 Forestry Board to meet July 11 on fire protection acreage rates 

July 3, 2013                                                        
Major media distribution
Rod Nichols, 503-508-0574,
Dan Postrel, 503-945-7420,

The Oregon Board of Forestry will meet July 11 to finalize the Oregon Department of Forestry’s fire protection budgets for the current fiscal year, including the assessments that landowners pay for fire protection service.

The Board approved the budget totals in June. But the corresponding per-acre assessment rates need to be adjusted, reflecting state legislative action on the Wildfire Protection Act (House Bill 2050). The bill’s provisions include mitigation of the assessments on fire-prone, lower-productivity forestlands in eastern Oregon, intended to help keep these lands economically viable as working forests. The House and Senate have sent the bill to the governor.

The board will meet by conference call at 8:15 a.m. Members of the public may attend at the Oregon Department of Forestry’s headquarters, 2600 State St., in Salem. The meeting site is the Tillamook Room, in the Administration Building.

The current budgets are for the fiscal year that began Monday, July 1.

Forest protection associations and the department’s protection districts across the state have held public meetings for landowners affected by the budgets. There will be an additional public comment opportunity at the July 11 meeting.

Special needs

Accommodations for people with disabilities, and special materials, services or assistance can be arranged by calling the department’s Public Affairs Office at least 48 hours before the meeting, at (503) 945-7200.

About the board

The Board of Forestry consists of seven citizens nominated by the governor and confirmed by the Oregon Senate. Responsibilities include appointing the state forester, setting management direction for state-owned forests, adopting rules governing timber harvest and other practices on private forestland, and promoting sustainable management of Oregon’s 30 million-acre forestland base.

More information on the board is available at Background information on the June 5 meeting, including staff reports, is available through the 2013 “Meeting Schedules” link.


Monday, July 1, 2013

Burn Barrel Use is Prohibited as of July 1

Effective Today: July 1, 2013 at 12:01am

Burn Barrel Use is no Longer Permitted, that is until the 2013 Fire Season Ends.
That time of year has arrived for putting away your burn barrels and taking out your inflatible pools and air conditioners. As of today the use of Burn Barrels being used on lands protected by the Oregon Dept. of Forestry in southwest Oregon is no longer permitted. Starting at 12:01 a.m. Monday, July 1, burn barrels may not be used again until fire season ends, which is typically sometime in mid-October.

If you have questions, please call your local Oregon Department of Forestry unit office:
  • Medford Unit, (541) 664-3328
  • Grants Pass Unit, (541) 474-3152

Or see the Fire Season Regulations page on this website.