Forestry E-Newsletter – August 6, 2014

August 6, 2014



Fire Season 2014 already one for the books


At summer 2014’s mid-point, many Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) fire managers are into their eighth week of an extremely busy, demanding fire season. Several large fires early on required incident management teams to quell, and continuing extreme weather and fuel conditions mean any new fire starts could grow large. In July and early August, wave after wave of dry lightning storms raked the landscape leaving thousands of acres of eastside forest and rangeland ablaze.

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By the end of July, the list of large fires fought by ODF teams had already grown long:

Two Bulls Fire – Reported June 7

Bryant Fire –
Reported June 19

White River Fire – Reported July 12

Moccasin Hill Fire – Reported July 13

Waterman Complex – Reported July 14

Rye Valley Fire – Reported July 23

Ferguson Fire –
Reported July 25

Haystack Complex – Reported July 30

Reeves Creek – Reported July 28

Beaver Complex – Reported July 30

Rowena Fire –
Reported August 5



Above: The Owens Fire burning in Owens south of Hood River. Photo: ODF’s The Dalles unit.



Arrowhead Hot Shots in mid-July on the White

River Fire about 15 miles west of Maupin.

Photo by Chris Friend, ODF


ODF personnel on the west-side got a taste of what was coming clear back in January, when a rash of fires extending from the California border to Washington reignited during a dry, windy period. Firefighters responding to these winter blazes faced unusual challenges, including frozen water sources and snowbound access roads.


In mid-July when thunderstorms spawned several episodes of 10,000-plus lightning strikes per day, fire protection agencies quickly found themselves stretched. The lightning ignited dozens of major wildfires across Oregon and Washington and most recently, California.


As of this writing, two months or more of wildfire season lie ahead before the fall rains set in. The safest characterization of the 2014 season at this point might be: Bad currently, and possibly getting worse.


Whatever comes, ODF will stick with its time-tested strategy of aggressive initial attack. 

 “Consistent with our overriding goal, we have extinguished almost all fires on state-protected land at small size,” said Fire Protection Division Director Nancy Hirsch. “A few fires have grown large, requiring dispatch of incident management teams.”


In addition to hand crews and aircraft that the Legislature and forest landowners have supplied, ODF is tapping additional personnel and equipment through a network of agreements with other agencies, states, Canadian provinces and the National Guard.

The department is prepared for the long haul.


In July the Moccasin Hill Fire burned private forestlands protected by ODF’s Klamath-Lake District north of Sprague River, Oregon.

Above, the Mona Street Fire burns in Tri-City near Myrtle Creek. ODF’s Kyle Reed was the first person on the scene. This fire was started by a discarded cigarette. Photo by Kyle Reed, ODF


StateFairODF at the Oregon State Fair: Smokey Bear turns 70


Wooden “tree cookies” are popular at the State Fair.

The theme of the 2014 Oregon State Fair is “Fun” and in the midst of another intense fire season it’s equally hard as it is important to remember and celebrate the Department’s sustained efforts at keeping Oregon’s Forests healthy and properly cared for. The State Fair allows for eleven days (August 22nd to September 1st) of ODF collaboration with vital agency partners like the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, US Forest Service, Oregon Parks & Recreation, Oregon Department of Agriculture and Keep Oregon Green. The “Fun” part is visible in the public’s interface with the ODF logo and those representing it.  


Thanks to the South Fork Forest Camp, “tree cookies” will be making their infamous appearance at the fair as well as a new Lookout Tower display (courtesy the Forest History Center).


Also, in celebration of Smokey Bear’s 70th Anniversary there will be a cake cutting ceremony with state forester Doug Decker Saturday, August 23rd at 1pm.


Keeping in line with the “Fun” theme, adults can enjoy the beautiful natural scenery of the Natural Resource area that hosts more than thirty types of trees and plenty of much-coveted shade. So if you have a chance, stop by the ODF booth, decorate a tree cookie, hug Smokey and take a moment to appreciate Oregon’s Forestry efforts.


See you there!Elizabeth Drake, Public Affairs Intern


Outdoor School gets kids outside




Well over a hundred schoolchildren took part in Outdoor School near Silver Lake this year.


In June, ODF partnered with volunteers and other agencies to host the North Lake Outdoor School at Silver Creek Marsh Campground near Silver Lake.


Some 130 local North Lake School District schoolchildren in grades K-6 rotated through a variety of stations designed to introduce them to topics about natural resources and the outdoors.


Stations included fish life cycles and habitat, the life cycle of a plant, forestry fundamentals and birds.


Cooperators for the 2-day event included Lake County Watershed Council, Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Klamath Watershed Partnership, Lake County OSU Extension Service, and the Oregon Department of Forestry.  


ODF stewardship forester Kellie Carlsen and former ODF employee Anne Maloney participated. The event was coordinated by the Lake County Watershed Council. Thanks to all who participated!




For forest landowners: new guide to fish habitat


Fish Habitat and Passage” is a newly published guide to fish habitat by the Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) for forest landowners. Using the best available science as well as case studies, the 28-page “Wildlife in Managed Forests: Fish Habitat and Passage” contains clear, practical information.


The new publication is part of OFRI’s Wildlife in Managed Forest Series. Other books in the series cover deer and elk, amphibians and the spotted owl.


Digital and printed copies are available free at




Bird1The birds need our help

American House Finch  
Photo by Jim Liesch, ODF


BirdA U.S. study led by the Migratory Bird Center of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Washington D.C., concluded that U.S. cats kill 1.4 to 3.7 billion birds a year – a huge number. Cat predation can be especially hard on bird populations on fragmented landscapes where migratory birds already have limited opportunities for feeding, nesting and birding.

What can help? Attaching a bell to the collar of your cat, or better yet, limiting or preventing your cat’s access to the outdoors.

For more info, visit Audubon online.



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Oregon Department of Forestry | 2600 State Street
Salem, OR 97310

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