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Oregon Board of Forestry Subcommittee on Federal Forests meets June 5 in La Grande - 05/25/18

Salem, Ore. – The Oregon Board of Forestry Subcommittee on Federal Forests will meet in 
La Grande on June 5. The meeting is open to the public and a public comment period is on the agenda.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m., and to end at approximately 5 p.m. The meeting will be held in the Alumni Room, Ackerman Hall 208, 1 University Blvd., at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande. The subcommittee is meeting to review recent developments regarding the management of federal lands to increase the pace, scale, and quality of restoration. Specific agenda items include:

  • Federal Forest Policy
    • March 2018 Omnibus Bill
    • Recommendations and survey from the Western Governors’ Association Report
    • Reflections from the recent meeting of the Western Council of State Foresters
  • Oregon State University’s Fire Summit Report

Accommodations for people with disabilities, and special materials, services, or assistance can be arranged by calling the agency’s Public Affairs office, at least 48 hours in advance, at 503-945-7200.

The Oregon 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 about the Board is available at: www.oregon.gov/ODF/Board/Pages/AboutBOF.aspx

Stewardship Coordinating Committee will meet May 30 - 05/25/18

SALEM, Ore.—The State Forest Stewardship Coordinating Committee will meet Wednesday, May 30, from 9 - 11 a.m. in the Sun Pass Room, Building D, Oregon Department of Forestry Salem Headquarters, 2600 State Street.

The committee will discuss the following topics:

  • Updates from the Private Forests Division
  • Community Forests Program updates
  • Forest Legacy Program FY 2020 Project Letters of Intent
  • Forest Stewardship Program updates.

This is a public meeting, everyone is welcome. The meeting space is accessible to persons with disabilities. Requests for an interpreter for the hearing impaired or other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made at least 48 hours before the meeting. For more information about attending the meeting please contact Susan Dominique at 503-945-7502.The State Forest Stewardship Coordinating Committee advises the State Forester on policy and procedures for the U.S. Forest Service State and Private Forestry Programs, such as Forest Legacy and Forest Stewardship. The committee consists of representatives from state and federal natural resource agencies, private forest landowners, consulting foresters, and forest industry and conservation organizations. You can find more information at: www.oregon.gov/ODF/Board/Pages/SCC.aspx.

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Citizen Fire Academy helps homeowners prepare for wildfire - 05/24/18

SILVERTON, Ore. — What you learn at an evening workshop Tuesday, June 5 at the Oregon Garden in Silverton might save your home from wildfire. The Citizen Fire Academy class helps Oregonians take simple steps to prepare for wildfire. Cost is $5 per person. The class is from 6 to 9 p.m. The Oregon Garden’s address is 879 W. Main Street, Silverton. Register online at https://tinyurl.com/CitizenFireAcademyJune2018

“Oregon communities are at risk for wildfire,” said Oregon State University Extension Forester Glenn Ahrens. “The good news is that if we prepare, we can reduce the risk to our property. Communities that survive fire events are the ones that have a plan and act on it.”

“The most important area to defend is within 200 feet of a home or other structure,” said National Fire Plan Coordinator Jenna Nelson with the Oregon Department of Forestry. “The class explains what property owners can do in this area to make sure there is no buildup of flammable fuel, such as dead leaves or conifer needles in gutters or on roofs.”

For more information about the class, contact Ahrens at 503-655-8631 or by email at glenn.ahrens@oregonstate.edu

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Oregon Board of Forestry meets June 6 in La Grande - 05/22/18

News Release

Date:  May 21, 2018

Contact:  Megan Ehnle, Board of Forestry Executive Support, Cell: 503-302-5603

 

Salem, ORE – The Oregon Board of Forestry will meet in La Grande on June 6. The meeting is open to the public and a public comment period is on the agenda.

The meeting will begin at 9 a.m., and go through approximately 2:45 p.m., with an Executive Session following and scheduled to end at approximately 3:45 p.m. The meeting is open to the public and a public comment period is on the agenda. The meeting will be held at Eastern Oregon University, 1 University Blvd., in La Grande.

Agenda items include:

  • Carbon Sequestration in Oregon’s forests
    •  A review of the recent work concluded by the Oregon Global Warming Commission’s Forest Taskforce
    • The Department’s work with the USFS-PNW Research Station to quantify the amount of carbon sequestered in Oregon’s forests to support the DAS Carbon Policy Office following the 2018 Legislative Session.
  • Smoke Management Program Permission for Rulemaking - The Smoke Management Program has completed its five-year review and has coordinated all recommended changes jointly with the Department of Environmental Quality. The Smoke Management Program is seeking permission from the Board to initiate rulemaking on recommended changes to OAR 629-048.
  • Update on 2018 Fire Season Readiness and Forecast
  • Approval of the Forest Protection Districts 2018 Fiscal Budgets and Rates
  • Forest Trust Lands Advisory Committee testimony – FTLAC comments and information on state forests.
  • 2019 – 21 Biennial Budget Development – Staff will present the agency’s proposed policy option packages for the 2019 – 21 biennium.
  • Agency Initiative: 2019 – 2021 Agency Biennial Budget Request – Staff will present the final proposal of the agency initiative for Board consideration. Final consideration of the agency initiative for inclusion in the Agency Request Budget will occur at the July Board meeting.
  • Eastern Oregon Wood Products Conference – Provide a preview of the next day’s conference and field tour. The goal of the conference and tour is to highlight the potential opportunities for rural investment and improved forest restoration economics resulting from the continued growth and development of mass timber markets.

Audio recordings of each Board of Forestry meeting with minutes are posted upon completion of each meeting. Beginning with the June 6 meeting, livestream options will be available for those who wish to view remotely. Along with this content, other agenda materials are available at www.oregon.gov/ODF/Board/Pages/BOFMeetings.aspx.

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 in advance, at 503-945-7200.

The Oregon 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 about the Board is available at: www.oregon.gov/ODF/Board/Pages/AboutBOF.aspx.

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Committee for Family Forestlands meets May 29 - 05/22/18

Correction: The day of the week for this meeting is Tuesday (not Friday as originally stated).

 

News Release

Date:     May 22, 2018

Contact:

Nick Hennemann, Public Affairs Specialist, Salem, 503-910-4311

Kyle Abraham, Deputy Chief Private Forests Division, Salem, 503-945-7473

 

SALEM, Ore. - The Committee for Family Forestlands will meet Tuesday, May 29 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The meeting will be in the Tillamook Room at the Oregon Department of Forestry Salem Headquarters, 2600 State Street.

The committee will receive updates about and discuss these topics:

  • Private Forests Division
  • Fire Season outlook
  • Rulemaking related to food plots
  • Oregon Bee Project
  • Forestland certification

 
This is a public meeting, everyone is welcome. The agenda includes time for public comment at the beginning of the meeting. The meeting space is accessible to persons with disabilities. Requests for an interpreter for the hearing impaired or other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made at least 48 hours before the meeting. For more information about attending the meeting please contact Susan Dominique at 503-945-7502.
 
The 13-member committee researches policies that affect family forests, natural resource and forestry benefits. The committee recommends actions to the Oregon Board of Forestry and State Forester based on its findings. You can find more information at: www.oregon.gov/ODF/Board/Pages/CFF.aspx.

 

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Memorial Day weekend sees campgrounds full around Oregon, making it a good time to respect safe campfire tips.
Memorial Day weekend sees campgrounds full around Oregon, making it a good time to respect safe campfire tips.
Prevent your campfire from turning into a wildfire (Photo) - 05/21/18

SALEM, Ore. - Sitting around a campfire is one of the special times we all enjoy, but campfires are also a major cause of wildfires. May is Wildfire Awareness Month, and Keep Oregon Green, the Oregon Office of the State Fire Marshal, and the Oregon Department of Forestry urge Oregonians to follow these basic outdoor safety tips:

  • Know before you go
    Before going camping, call your local forestry or fire district to learn if there are any current campfire restrictions at your destination.  You can also visit www.keeporegongreen.org for planning a fire-safe trip to the outdoors.
     
  • Kick the campfire habit this summer
    Portable camp stoves are a safer option to campfires at any time of year. Areas that prohibit campfires outside maintained campgrounds with established fire pits often allow camp stoves.
     
  • Select the right spot

            Where campfires are allowed, choose a site with an existing ring. Fire pits in established campgrounds are the best spots. If you choose to build a campfire, avoid building it near your tent, structures, vehicles, shrubs or trees, and be aware of low-hanging branches overhead. Clear the site down to mineral soil, at least five feet on all sides, and circle it with rocks. Store unused firewood a good distance from the fire.

 

  • Keep your campfire small

           A campfire is less likely to escape control if it is kept small. A large fire may cast hot embers long distances. Add firewood in small amounts as existing material is consumed. Placing a log on the fire rather than dropping it from a height will prevent a big shower of sparks.

 

  • Attend your campfire at all times

           A campfire left unattended for even a few minutes can grow into a costly, damaging wildfire. Stay with your campfire from start to finish until it is dead out, as required by state law. That ensures any escaped sparks or embers can be extinguished quickly.

 

  • Never use gasoline or other accelerants

           Don’t use flammable or combustible liquids, such as gasoline, propane or lighter fluid, to start or increase your campfire. Once the fire starts, discard the match in the fire.

 

  • Have water and fire tools on site
    Have a shovel and a bucket of water nearby to extinguish any escaped embers. When you are ready to leave, drown all embers with water, stir the coals, and drown again. Repeat until the fire is DEAD out. If it is too hot to touch, it is too hot to leave.

 

  • Burn ONLY wood

            State regulations prohibit the open burning of any material that creates dense, toxic smoke or noxious odors. Burning paper and cardboard can also easily fly up to start new fires.

Escaped campfires can be costly. Oregon law requires the proper clearing, building, attending and extinguishing of open fires at any time of year. A first-time citation carries a $110 fine. But by far the biggest potential cost is liability for firefighting costs if your campfire spreads out of control. These can range from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars or more.

During Wildfire Awareness Month visit the Keep Oregon Green website, www.keeporegongreen.org for other wildfire prevention tips.

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New state forest recreation rules adjust fees, honor veterans, limit stay duration and test reservation system - 05/18/18

Salem, Ore. -- Recent rule changes adopted by the Oregon Board of Forestry adjust camping fees in state forests, provide additional benefits to qualifying military veterans and active duty service members, revise overnight stay limits on state forests, and initiate a pilot campsite reservation program at a Clatsop State Forest campground.

Fees: Campsite fees have increased to include two vehicles in the base fee. Drive-in campsites will now cost $20 per night, while walk-in tent sites will be $15 per night. This reflects the reality that many campers are already bringing two vehicles. Fees for group campsites and extra vehicle fees remain the same, as do fees for designated camping areas.

Beginning May 25, ODF will begin charging camping fees at the following designated camping areas in the Tillamook State Forest: Morrison Eddy ($15 per night for up to two vehicles) along with Cedar Creek and North Fork Wilson Designated Campsites ($5 per vehicle per night).

Honoring veterans: Military veterans with a service-connected disability who hold the Veteran’s Special Access Pass issued by Oregon State Parks can now stay in Oregon Department of Forestry campgrounds for free. Additionally, the agency will waive fees for active duty service members on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day.

Stay and occupancy limits: The rule changes also address how long campers may stay. Stays on state forestland may be no longer than 14 consecutive days, or more than 42 days over a 12-month period. This change is due to the increasing trend of people who stay for long periods of time and use state forests as their primary residence. While the public is welcomed and encouraged to enjoy Oregon’s state forests, long-term camping restricts availability of camping sites for recreational uses, and creates safety and sanitation challenges.

Additionally, occupancy limits for developed campgrounds will be a maximum of eight people, two tents and two vehicles per campsite unless otherwise posted.

Establishing pilot program for Northrup Creek Horse Camp reservations: Under this pilot program, campers will reserve sites at this campground in the Clatsop State Forest through Reserve America, the same reservation system used by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. All campsites at Northrup Creek Horse Camp will be reservation only; on-site registration at the campground will no longer be offered. The new reservation system provides certainty to horse campers that they have a reserved campsite prior to trailering a horse to the campgrounds.

About State Forests Recreation: Our mission is to create lasting and diverse outdoor recreational experiences, inspiring visitors to enjoy, respect, and connect with Oregon’s state forests. To learn more about recreational opportunities in state forests, visit http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Recreation/Pages/default.aspx.

Watering young trees is vital even in spring. These volunteers use three clean 6-gallon containers to give this umbrella pine a weekly does of life-sustaining water.
Watering young trees is vital even in spring. These volunteers use three clean 6-gallon containers to give this umbrella pine a weekly does of life-sustaining water.
Start watering urban trees in spring for best growth and survival in western Oregon (Photo) - 05/17/18

SALEM, Ore. – As rainy as western Oregon often seems, the truth is that typically in May and June no rain falls on more than half the days of the month in cities inland from the coast. With trees leafed out and putting on new growth, urban trees need to be watered during these two months to survive and thrive. Yet many people in Oregon cities only start watering their trees in the sunny and hot months of July and August. By then it may be too late.

Kristin Ramstad is manager of the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Urban and Community Forestry Assistance Program. Ramstad said the majority of trees planted in urban areas are native to places that receive ample summer rain. “Their main season of growth comes right when rainfall in Oregon is decreasing. That can lead to trees’ growth being stunted,” said Ramstad.

Ramstad points to the Learning Landscape arboretum at Meek School in northeast Portland’s Concordia neighborhood as an example of how irrigating trees in spring and summer has helped non-native trees grow faster.

“Watered every spring and summer since being planted in 2010-12, trees in that arboretum are already much taller than similar trees which got watered only for the first couple of years,” she said.

Besides growing more quickly, younger non-native trees will also be less stressed if they receive supplemental water. “If trees are already somewhat water deprived in spring, they can really suffer once temperatures soar and rainfall ceases altogether in July and August. Lack of water can cause dieback and even kill non-native trees in Oregon,” she warned. “Trees under stress are also more likely to be attacked by insects. That seems especially true for conifers.”

How much water do trees need? Ramstad said trees less than three years old should get 10 to 15 gallons once a week from the time they leaf out until early fall. Older non-native trees might need 20 to 25 gallons. “Let the water slowly soak in. The goal is to have the water get deep into the root zone.”

In the Willamette Valley, rainfall averages only 2 to 3 inches in May and June. An inch of rainfall equals 1.6 gallons per square foot. A young tree’s roots may only reach into an area of 4 square feet. That means they can access only about 6 gallons from an inch of rain falling in their root zone.

“For the whole month a young tree might receive less than 20 gallons from rainwater. But for healthy development they need two to three times that – about 10 to 15 gallons every week. And if grass is allowed to grow up to the tree’s trunk, almost no rainwater will be available to the young tree,” said Ramstad.

She suggested keeping grass at least 2 to 3 feet away from a tree’s trunk to reduce competition for water. “Mulching around the tree also helps,” she said.

All newly planted trees require watering to survive their first couple years. For those looking to minimize watering beyond that, Ramstad said oaks native to Oregon and California are a good alternative. “They usually don’t need to be watered after their first two years because they are adapted to hot, dry summers. In fact, watering a native Oregon white oak can cause problems that could cause the tree’s death.”

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An aerial view of central Oregon forests.
An aerial view of central Oregon forests.
Forests in Focus: New video showcases people working together to restore forests and build markets (Photo) - 05/15/18

News Release                                                             

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 15, 2018

Contact:

Marcus Kauffman, ODF Biomass Resource Specialist, 541-580-7480, marcus.kauffman@oregon.gov

 

Roseburg, Ore. – Restoring central Oregon’s federal forests is a big important job. Too many small trees crowd the landscape, putting homes and property at risk from intense wildfires. But what to do about it?

For decades, finding common ground on forest management has placed competing interests at loggerheads. But in central Oregon, a diverse group of stakeholders are working together to create science-guided solutions that strive for balance, landscape scale and local economic benefits.

“Decades of disagreement by various factions have left us with a forest that is out of whack from its original state,” said David Stowe, an executive committee member of the Sierra Club - Oregon Chapter’s Juniper Group. 

The six-minute video showcases how stakeholders are working to restore central Oregon’s forests and make them more fire-resilient.

“The forests in central Oregon are adapted to fire,” said Pete Caliguiri, a fire ecologist with The Nature Conservancy. “With 450,000 acres of forest in need of restoration, it is important that we learn how to scale up our efforts. Sound science should continue to guide us.”

Forest restoration is expensive and results in a lot of by-products with varying degrees of commercial value. Finding markets for less valuable by-products from restoration projects, such as small trees and brush, would lower costs and create more local jobs.

“Ideally we’d have markets for the small trees and biomass that result from these treatments,” said Nicole Strong, assistant professor at Oregon State University’s College of Forestry.

“There’s a lot of opportunity to create markets for some of these by-products like firewood, post and poles, pellets and wood chips for heat and power,” said Ed Keith, Deschutes County Forester.

“Forest restoration creates a lot of benefits: reduced fire risk to communities, improved economics and utilization of the by-products and improved forest ecology,” Stowe added. “We’ll never get the forest back to where it was before we mucked it up. But we can get it headed in the right direction, and it will be a better forest for everyone.”

The video was produced by the Oregon Department of Forestry with generous funding provided by the USDA Forest Service and is available on YouTube at https://youtu.be/R6DwCfUysak.

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Debris burns should always be attended by a person with a working water hose and shovel at the ready. Constant attention is the key to preventing debris burns from escaping.
Debris burns should always be attended by a person with a working water hose and shovel at the ready. Constant attention is the key to preventing debris burns from escaping.
Burn backyard debris safely (Photo) - 05/14/18

SALEM, Ore. – May is Wildfire Awareness Month in Oregon and the ideal time to trim back trees and shrubs from around your home that could pose a wildfire threat.

As you begin spring clean-up, Keep Oregon Green, the Oregon Department of Forestry and the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal urge you to chip or recycle yard debris. If burning is the only option to dispose of woody material, follow safe burning practices.

“If you burn debris, use common sense and follow safety rules,” said Oregon’s State Fire Marshal Jim Walker. “This can prevent most wildfires caused by burning debris and keep lives and property safe.”

Escaped debris burns are the leading human cause of wildfire in Oregon, particularly in the spring and fall when people think it is safe and permissible to burn. In 2017, backyard debris burns that escaped control resulted in 149 wildfires burning 334 acres at a cost of $183,000 to suppress.

A burn pile is less likely to escape control if these simple safety tips are followed:

  • Call before you burn – Burning regulations are not the same in all areas and can vary with weather and fuel conditions. If you’re planning to burn, check with your local ODF district, fire protective association, or air protection authority to learn if there are any current burning restrictions in effect, and whether a permit is required.
  • Know the weather forecast– Never burn on dry or windy days. These conditions make it easy for an open burn to spread out of control.
  • Clear a 10-foot radius around your pile– Also make sure there are no tree branches or power lines above.
  • Keep your burn pile small - A large burn may cast hot embers long distances. Small piles, 4 x 4 feet, are recommended. Add debris in small amounts as existing material is consumed.
  • Always have water and fire tools on site – When burning, have a charged water hose, bucket of water, and shovel and dirt nearby to extinguish the fire. Drown the pile with water, stir the coals, and drown again, repeating till the fire is DEAD out.
  • Stay with the fire until it is completely out – Monitoring a debris burn from start to finish until dead out is required by state law to ensure that any escaped sparks or embers can be extinguished quickly. Go back and recheck old burn piles, as they can retain heat for several weeks and then rekindle when the weather warms and wind begins to blow.
  • Never use gasoline or other accelerants (flammable or combustible liquids) to start or increase your open fire. Every year, 10 to 15 percent of all burn injuries treated at the Oregon Burn Center in Portland are the result of backyard debris burning.
  • Burn only yard debris – State regulations prohibit the open burning of any material that creates dense smoke or noxious odors.
  • Escaped debris burns are costly– State law requires the proper clearing, building, attending and extinguishing of open fires any time of year. A first-time citation carries a $110 fine. If your debris burn spreads out of control, you are responsible for the cost of fire suppression and very likely the damage to neighboring properties. This can range from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars.             

More tips on wildfire prevention, including campfire safety, use of motorized equipment, and fire-resistant landscaping can be found on the Keep Oregon Green site, www.keeporegongreen.org

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The economics of maintaining a healthy urban forest will be the focus of this year's Oregon Urban Forestry conference in Portland June 7. Registration is now open.
The economics of maintaining a healthy urban forest will be the focus of this year's Oregon Urban Forestry conference in Portland June 7. Registration is now open.
Oregon urban forestry conference in June will focus on the economics of building a healthy urban forest (Photo) - 05/09/18

PORTLAND, Ore. —The economics behind building and maintaining a healthy urban forest is the focus of the state’s annual urban forestry conference Thursday, June 7 in Portland. The conference is put on by the Oregon Department of Forestry, Oregon Community Trees, Urban and Community Forestry and the U.S. Forest Service, with support from Teragan and Associates, Inc., and Oregon State University’s College of Forestry. The conference will be held at the World Forestry Center from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Registration is now open through Eventbrite.

Keynote speaker is Professor of Urban Forestry Cecil Konijnendijk from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. He and other speakers will address the conference theme – “The Dollars and Sense of Urban Trees.” Dr. Konijnendijk will describe how cities around the world have designed or retrofitted their communities to optimize the benefits they get from their urban forests. A published author of books and articles on urban woodlands, Dr. Konijnendijk is also an incoming member of the board of directors of the International Society of Arboriculture.

Urban Forester Jon Pywell will describe how Corvallis mills and sells removed city trees to fund the planting of replacement trees.

Kristin Ramstad is the Urban and Community Assistance Forestry Program Manager for the Oregon Department of Forestry. In her presentation, Ramstad will discuss the high cost of neglecting tree maintenance and what the research-based solutions are.  “Community budgets are lean, and finding money for urban forestry activities is often a challenge,” she said. “So at this year’s conference, other speakers and I will share ideas on how to do things more efficiently within existing budgets. From tree selection to tree planting, pruning and removal there are always ways to stretch resources.”

Scott Altenhoff and Eric DeBord from Eugene’s Urban Forestry program will share how cities can qualify for Federal Emergency Management Agency funds for storm-related tree losses.

DeBord is also president of Oregon Community Trees. His organization assists community groups, local governments and schools throughout the state with expertise and grants that support leadership, education, awareness and advocacy for urban and community forestry. DeBord said OCT and the other organizations putting on the conference “are excited to welcome a great line up of speakers. We hope everyone interested in the economics of building a healthy urban forest attends.”

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Houses like this that have kept brush away from walls, thinned trees so their canopies don't touch and removed lower tree limbs are better protected from wildfire.
Houses like this that have kept brush away from walls, thinned trees so their canopies don't touch and removed lower tree limbs are better protected from wildfire.
Create a circle of safety around your home in case of wildfire (Photo) - 05/07/18

SALEM, Ore. — May is the perfect time to create a circle of safety around your home to protect it from wildfire.  That’s one reason May is Oregon Wildfire Awareness Month. All month long the Oregon Department of Forestry, Keep Oregon Green Association, the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal and fire educators statewide are spreading the word on ways to prevent human-caused wildfires and protect a home in case a fire encroaches.

Kristin Babbs, president of Keep Oregon Green, said, “In a large wildfire, firefighters may not have the resources to defend every house. Just as you lock the doors to keep your home and family safe, think of creating a fuel-free defensible space. This ‘circle of safety,’ around your home can reduce fire danger and provide safe access to firefighters so they can protect it,” said Babbs.

According to National Fire Plan Coordinator Jenna Nelson at the Oregon Department of Forestry, besides the fire itself, the biggest risk to homes area wildfire’s hot embers. “They can fly through the air a mile or more ahead of the actual flame front,” said Nelson.  “When these embers land, in a matter of minutes they can ignite leaves, needles and debris that have built up on roofs, against the home or under decks.  In the same brief time they can cause flammable landscape plants to begin burning and catch a house on fire.”

Nelson said that in some instances, small embers may smolder and combine long after the fire has passed by, creeping into the wooden framing under a roof before bursting into open flames and burning down the house.

“You can’t control where these embers land, but you can control what happens when they do. Preparedness is key,” Nelson said.

To create a circle of safety around your property, start with the house and the first 30 feet extending from the outermost part of the structure, including detached garages and sheds. The roof is the most vulnerable part. Regularly clear leaves and needles from the roof and gutters, and cut back any overhanging tree limbs.

Landscaping should consist of low-growing, fire-resistant plants that are spaced carefully so as not to provide fuel close to a structure. Rake leaves and debris from the yard, mow grass, and prune trees six to 10 feet up from the ground. Keep plants well-watered to prevent a surface fire from climbing into the tree crowns and carrying flames to the house. Properly placed healthy deciduous trees can actually protect a home by blocking a wildfire’s intense heat. Avoid highly flammable species, such as pine, juniper and madrone. Spaces free of fuel, such as driveways, gravel walkways and green lawns can halt the advance of a fire.

In the zone 100 to 200 feet from the home, trees may need to be thinned, though less intensively than those closer in, so that canopies are not touching.

Babbs said it is not inevitable that a wildfire will consume everything in its path. The more defensible space a homeowner creates before fire season, the better a home’s chances of surviving a wildfire.

“It’s peace of mind knowing that if you leave your home for a stretch of time this summer, it will still be standing when you return,” she said.

Find more tips on how to create defensible space around your home and protect it from wildfire at: www.firewise.org and www.keeporegongreen.org

 

Other Wildfire Awareness Month tips coming soon:

During May also watch for fire prevention tips on backyard debris burning and campfires.

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State receives grant to study possible Habitat Conservation Plan in western Oregon state-managed forests - 05/07/18

Salem, Ore. -- The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Oregon Department of Forestry are pleased to announce the state has received a $750,000 federal grant to explore feasibility of a Habitat Conservation Plan for state-owned forests west of the Cascades.

The grant comes from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Paired with $250,000 in state matching funds, it will support the initiation phase of a possible Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). This process will enable ODFW and ODF to determine whether such a plan will meaningfully improve habitat used by threatened and endangered species while allowing for sustainable forest management.

“By focusing on protecting vital habitat used by threatened and endangered species, a Habitat Conservation Plan may be a more holistic and cost-effective way to ensure these species are protected. Through this process, we aim to find out whether a Habitat Conservation Plan is in the best interests of Oregonians,” said Cindy Kolomechuk, HCP project manager for the Oregon Department of Forestry.

With grant funding secured, ODFW and ODF are establishing a steering committee with state and federal agency representatives, including the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA), the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, the Department of State Lands, and Oregon State University.

Smokey Bear will be appearing every Saturday in May and again June 9 at the World Forestry Center to higlight the
Smokey Bear will be appearing every Saturday in May and again June 9 at the World Forestry Center to higlight the "Wildfires Destroy More Than Trees" exhibit. The exhibit is sponsored by the Oregon Department of Forestry and the non-profit Keep Oregon Gre
Oregon Department of Forestry and Keep Oregon Green invite public to new wildfire awareness exhibit at World Forestry Center (Photo) - 05/03/18

PORTLAND, Ore. – A new exhibit all about wildfire in Oregon launches this week at the World Forestry Center in Portland. It runs through the end of June.

Special family-friendly activities are planned in conjunction with the exhibit each Saturday in May starting May 5 through May 26 and again on Saturday, June 9. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Smokey Bear will appear every Saturday in May and on June 9. On those dates there will be live displays of fire-resistant plants, coloring and activity books for children, and a prize wheel. Visitors in May can also enter a raffle for a free hanging-flower basket donated by a nursery in Scappoose. On Saturday, June 9 a restored 1930s Oregon Department of Forestry AA flatbed fire engine will be on display.

The two-month long “Wildfire Destroys More than Trees” exhibit is sponsored by the Oregon Department of Forestry and the non-profit Keep Oregon Green. Kris Babbs, president of Keep Oregon Green said, “Gov. Kate Brown and the chief executives of nine other Western states have declared May as Wildfire Awareness Month. So it’s the perfect time for people to come to the World Forestry Center to learn about wildfire risk in Oregon. The exhibit will help people learn what they can do to prevent fires and protect themselves and their property.”

Malcolm Hiatt is unit supervisor at ODF’s Columbia City office. He took a lead role in planning the exhibit. “Last summer reminded us all how a single careless act can create a wildfire that disrupts travel, degrades air quality, damages trails and destroys homes and other resources. In 2017, humans accounted for 45% of all wildfire starts in the state. This is why we’re seeking the public’s help to prevent human-caused wildfires.”

Hiatt said the exhibit will provide children and adults with information about how to plan and prepare for fire season. “We know from historical records that wildfire can occur in almost any part of Oregon, so nowhere is completely immune. The key to prevention is educating yourself about common activities that can potentially start fires and how to lower that risk,” said Hiatt.

Throughout the exhibit’s run, there will be maps on display showing where wildfires have occurred in Oregon in recent years. There will also be posters and brochures with tips on reducing wildfire risk.

The World Forestry Center is at 4033 SW Canyon Road in Portland. It is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Monday. Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors 62 and older and $5 for kids 18 to age 3. Children under age 3 get in free.

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Drought3_Topkill_BWithrow-Robinson.jpg
Drought3_Topkill_BWithrow-Robinson.jpg
Drier Weather Welcomes Beetles: ODF Gives Advice to Keep Forests Healthy (Photo) - 05/02/18

Date:                    May 2, 2018

Contact:              Christine Buhl, Entomologist, 503-945-7396

Nick Hennemann, Public Affairs Specialist, 503-945-7248

 

SALEM, Ore.—Oregon’s Department of Forestry encourages tree and forest owners to watch for continuing drought symptoms like dead tops, dead branches, thinning canopies and stressed cone crops. Given the warm end to last summer and drier than normal winter, the agency expects a higher chance of trees dying from drought or secondary attack by bark beetles this summer.

Oregon Department of Forestry Entomologist Christine Buhl said, “Above average temperatures this spring mean beetles may come out sooner than normal. If this happens, beetles may attack trees sooner than usual.”

Drought has long-term consequences. Plants and animals are still experiencing the effects from the 2012-2015 drought. Drought damaged trees may have collapsed vascular tissues and fine-root dieback. These tissues and roots absorb much of the water a tree needs. This damage takes time to repair and trees may not fully recover.

Following the 2012-2015 drought, Oregon had one good year of rain. But, it takes more than that for trees to rebound. Last summer ended with a long stretch of higher temperatures and days without much rain. This winter has also had less than normal rain and snow, so soils are not as saturated as expected.

“Given the recent drought and below average rain and snow this winter, trees will likely be drought-stressed this season - unless precipitation boosts back to normal levels,” Buhl said. “What we need is a longer, lighter rain to allow trees time to soak up the water.”

Most bark beetles are part of a healthy ecosystem. Bark beetles pick off the sick or less vigorous trees that are competing with healthier trees. But, when dry conditions stress trees, they’re more susceptible to attack and bark beetle populations can increase to unsustainable levels. When the natural balance is off and the beetles can overcome the defenses of healthier trees it presents a problem.

The department advises tree and forest owners to plan ahead and consult with an arborist or forester to help healthy trees survive, despite lower precipitation. This can include removing some trees or competing weeds to allow the remaining trees to get enough food and water during dry spells. Avoid fertilizing and planting less drought-tolerant trees such as Douglas fir in areas historically dominated by more drought-tolerant trees such as oak and pine. 

Video: https://youtu.be/wHZ1G5wH4r8.

For more information visit: http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Documents/ForestBenefits/Drought_2016.pdf

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Ensuring the space around one's home is clear of fuels can make the difference in whether it burns in a wildfire or is spared, like this house which survived even though surrounded by wildfire.
Ensuring the space around one's home is clear of fuels can make the difference in whether it burns in a wildfire or is spared, like this house which survived even though surrounded by wildfire.
Oregonians are invited in May to learn how to prevent wildfire as Wildfire Awareness Month kicks off (Photo) - 04/30/18

SALEM, Ore. – In the wake of last year’s serious wildfire season, the governors of Oregon and nine other Western states are proclaiming May 2018 as Wildfire Awareness Month. The chief executives have signed a joint proclamation encouraging all citizens to “take steps to better prepare their home and communities for wildfires and work toward becoming a fire-adapted community."

During May, the 10 states will partner with fire prevention agencies and organizations to increase awareness of wildfires. In Oregon, there will be new public service announcements, some featuring Gov. Kate Brown. The announcements will explain how every Oregonian can take steps to keep their home and the state safer from wildfire.

Kris Babbs, president of the Keep Oregon Green Association, said, “The Governor, along with the Keep Oregon Green Association, the Oregon Department of Forestry and the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal, is seeking the public’s help to prevent human-caused wildfires like the ones that swept the state last summer.”

Wildfires – 45% of which were caused by humans – burned more than 664,000 acres statewide last year, disrupting travel, degrading air quality, damaging trails and destroying homes and other resources.

“When it comes to preventing wildfires, there’s a lot at stake – lives, personal property, and the many resources provided by Oregon’s forests and rangelands,” said Babbs. “People caused more than 900 wildfires in Oregon last year. So people can make a big difference in reducing the number of wildfires.”  

”It is vital that all Oregonians work with their neighbors to plan and prepare for fire season, especially in those areas currently experiencing drought as well as the more fire-prone landscapes of central and southwest Oregon. Educating yourself now about how fires can get started will be key in reducing wildfire starts,” said Babbs.

She said Wildfire Awareness Month will provide lots of opportunities for people to educate themselves about wildfire causes and consequences and to participate in community fire prevention projects.

Wildfires in the wildland-urban interface often are started by human activity, such as debris burning or lawn mowing, and then spread to the forest. Once underway, a fire follows the fuel, whether it is trees or houses.

Oregon Department of Forestry’s Fire Prevention Coordinator Tom Fields said, “Simple prevention strategies can make your home, family and community much safer. Spring is the perfect time to remove dead or flammable vegetation from around houses and other structures and to limb up trees around the yard. The goal is to reduce nearby fuels that pose a fire risk,” he said.

To get an early start on Wildfire Awareness Month, join your neighbors in reducing your community’s wildfire risk by taking part in National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day on Saturday, May 5. The National Fire Protection Association has teamed up with State Farm Insurance to encourage residents to commit a couple of hours, or the entire day, to raising wildfire awareness and working on projects that can protect homes and entire communities from the threat of fire.

To learn even more, from May through June the World Forestry Center in northwest Portland is hosting a family-friendly exhibit about wildfire produced by the Oregon Department of Forestry and the Keep Oregon Green Association. Modern and vintage ODF fire engines and Smokey Bear will be on site on Saturday, May 5 to kick off the exhibit and again on Saturday, June 9.

Coming soon: More Wildfire Awareness Month tips

During May, Keep Oregon Green will promote wildfire prevention topics via traditional and social media each week to help homeowners and tourists learn how to ensure their outdoor activities do not spark the next wildfire. For more information, visit these websites:

Follow Oregon wildfire news and prevention updates on social media: Twitter @keeporegongreen, @ORDeptForestry and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/keeporegongreen; https://www.facebook.com/odfprevention/?fref=ts

About Keep Oregon Green Keep Oregon Green (KOG) is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization that promotes programs and messages encouraging the public to work together in their local communities to prevent the risk of wildfire. Our work targets residents, particularly those in the wildland-urban interface, and recreationists using Oregon’s public and private lands.

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Eastern Oregon Regional Forest Practices Committee will meet in Sunriver May 16 - 04/26/18

News Release

Date:     April 26, 2018

Contact:

Nick Hennemann, Public Affairs Specialist, Salem, 503-910-4311
Kyle Abraham, Private Forests Division, Salem, 503-945-7473

 

SALEM, Ore.—The Eastern Oregon Regional Forest Practices Committee will meet Wednesday, May 16, from 12 to 5 p.m. The meeting .will be at the Sunriver Lodge, Fremont Room, 57081 Meadow Road, Sunriver.

Agenda items that the committee will discuss and may take action on include:

  • Private Forests Division and Agency update
  • Tethered logging
  • Siskiyou streamside literature review
  • Food plots rulemaking
  • Incentives

This is a public meeting and everyone is welcome. The agenda includes time for public comment at the beginning of the meeting. The meeting space is accessible to persons with disabilities. Requests for an interpreter for the hearing impaired or other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made at least 48 hours before the meeting. For more information about attending the meeting please contact Susan Dominique at 503-945-7502.
 
Regional Forest Practices Committees are advisory groups made up of forest landowners and the public who advise the board on current forestry issues and forest management approaches. Additional information about Regional Forest Practices Committees is available at: https://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Board/Pages/RFPC.aspx.
 
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Northwest Oregon Regional Forest Practices Committee will meet in Salem May 9 - 04/26/18

News Release

Date:     April 25, 2018

Contact:

Nick Hennemann, Public Affairs Specialist, Salem, 503-910-4311
Kyle Abraham, Private Forests Division, Salem, 503-945-7473

 

SALEM, Ore.—The Northwest Oregon Regional Forest Practices Committee will meet Wednesday, May 9, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The meeting will be in the Tillamook Room at the Oregon Department of Forestry Salem Headquarters, 2600 State Street.

Agenda items that the committee will discuss and may take action on include:

  • Private Forests Division update
  • Siskiyou streamside literature review
  • Tethered logging
  • Marbled Murrelet rule analysis
  • Food plots rulemaking
  • Incentives

This is a public meeting and everyone is welcome. The agenda includes time for public comment at the beginning of the meeting. The meeting space is accessible to persons with disabilities. Requests for an interpreter for the hearing impaired or other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made at least 48 hours before the meeting. For more information about attending the meeting please contact Susan Dominique at 503-945-7502.
 
Regional Forest Practices Committees are advisory groups made up of forest landowners and the public who advise the board on current forestry issues and forest management approaches. Additional information about Regional Forest Practices Committees is available at: https://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Board/Pages/RFPC.aspx.
 
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