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OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY FIRE UPDATE
The Department and its partners continued to work today to suppress a number of fires in Northwestern Oregon, the Coast Range and interior Southwest Oregon.
Most originated as controlled burns that were set many weeks ago, during the typical fall season for burning logging slash. Although such fires are monitored routinely, some rekindled over the past two days, the result of an extraordinary January combination of strong east winds and low relative humidity, along with the generally dry fuel conditions we are seeing this winter.
This resulted in three fire complexes – east of Scotts Mills, in the North Santiam Canyon near Gates, and on the South Coast east of Bandon. These range in size from roughly 100 to 300 acres. There are several additional fires, roughly from 30 to 100 acres, in dispersed locations including the Astoria and Shady Cove areas and on the South Coast.
Landowner resources, contract crews and helicopters, and inmate crews from the Department of Corrections have all participated in the firefighting operations – a demonstration of the complete and coordinated system that has long proved successful in wildland firefighting in Oregon.
SITUATION AND OUTLOOK
Some of the fires are fully contained, and fire managers report good progress on the others. Some firefighting resources were released today, and it’s expected that more demobilizations will occur tomorrow. Winds are expected to subside Friday evening and humidity is expected to rise, decreasing the fire danger through the weekend.
In the longer term, drought conditions persist in Oregon. The National Weather Service’s red flag warning for high fire danger, issued this week in Southern Oregon, is an usual event for January, and a reminder that vigilance and readiness remain essential.
We have plans in place to direct firefighting resources where they’re needed, and will continue to update you as developments warrant.