Oregon Dept. of Forestry
Emergency Messages as of 7:53 am, Wed. Oct. 5
No information currently posted.
Subscribe to receive FlashAlert messages from Oregon Dept. of Forestry.
Primary email address for a new account:

  


Manage my existing Subscription

News Releases
Board of Forestry hosts a planning retreat on Oct. 12 and 13 - 09/30/22

SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Board of Forestry will meet on Oct. 12 and 13 for a planning retreat. The annual retreat offers the board and department leadership the opportunity to connect and explore policy issues in an informal setting. No public comment or testimony will be accepted during the retreat. The public can attend in-person at Matt Dishman Community Center Auditorium, 77 NE Knott Street, Portland, OR 97212 or observe both days of the retreat via a livestream on the department’s YouTube page.

During this informal annual retreat, board members will reflect on the past year of work together and begin their work on creating the next generation Forestry Program for Oregon. They will focus on: 

  • Discussing the outcomes of the annual self-evaluation.
  • Exploring the Board business approach for the current biennium including work plans, organizational level governance, and public engagement.
  • Expanding upon the relationship between the Board and agency leadership.
  • Hearing from a local urban forestry community voice.
  • Setting the stage to begin substantive work on the Forestry Program for Oregon.

View the agenda and retreat details. 

On Oct. 12, as part of the planning retreat, the Department will host an evening Community Spotlight and Board social to focus on Urban Forestry as part of their planning effort of revisioning Oregon’s forests. This informal event is open to the public and can attend in-person at the McMenamins Kennedy School, 5736 NE 33rd Avenue, Portland, OR 97211. An RSVP is not required, but a courtesy as spacing and parking is limited. RSVP to boardofforestry@odf.oregon.gov

Accommodations for people with disabilities, and special materials, services, or assistance can be arranged by calling ODF’s Public Affairs Office at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting at 503-945-7200 or by email at forestryinformation@odf.oregon.gov.

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. Read more information about the board.

Regional Forest Practice Committees for Eastern Oregon meets Oct. 6 - 09/28/22

SALEM, Ore. – The Regional Forest Practice Committees for Eastern Oregon will meet at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 6 in the ODF conference room, 3200 Delap Road, Klamath Falls, OR 97601. To join virtually, please use the Zoom video conference information found on the agenda. To provide public comment, please email forestresources.committees@odf.oregon.gov. 

The committee’s agenda includes:

  • Forest Resources Division update
  • Operator of the Year selection
  • Forest Practices Act rule change
  • Emerald ash borer update
  • Fire season update

The public may attend online via Zoom or in-person. Public comments will be accepted. Requests for an interpreter for the hearing impaired or other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made at least 72 hours before the meeting by emailing forestresources.committees@odf.oregon.gov.

Regional Forest Practices Committees are panels of citizens – mandated under Oregon law – that advise the Oregon Board of Forestry on current forestry issues and forest management approaches. In 1971, the legislature enacted Oregon’s Forest Practices Act which includes three Regional Forest Practices Committees, serving the Eastern, Northwest and Southwest regions of the state. Under Oregon law, a majority of the committees’ members must be private forest landowners and logging or forest operations companies.

Oregon’s forests are among the state’s most valued resources, providing a balanced mix of environmental, economic and social benefitsView more information on the RFPC webpage.

Committee for Family Forestlands meets Oct. 13 - 09/28/22

SALEM, Ore. — The Committee for Family Forestlands will meet virtually on Thursday, Oct. 13 from 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. To join virtually, please use the Zoom video conference information found on the agenda

The committee’s agenda includes:

  • Forest Resources Division update
  • Wildfire risk map update
  • Emerald ash borer update
  • Legacy Program update
  • Update on the changes to the Forest Practices Act
  • Round table discussion

The meeting is open to the public to attend online via Zoom. Public comments will be accepted near the start of the meeting. Requests for an interpreter for the hearing impaired or other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made at least 24 hours before the meeting by emailing committee.of.family.forestlands@odf.oregon.gov.

The 13-member committee researches policies that affect family forests, natural resources and forestry benefits. Based on its findings, the committee recommends actions to the Oregon Board of Forestry and the State Forester. View more information on the CFF webpage.

McIver Fire still under investigation - 09/22/22

Estacada, OR –Fire investigators from the Oregon Department of Forestry and Estacada Rural Fire District are working to determine the cause and origin of the McIver fire. The fire started at approximately 9:22 p.m. on September 9 and ultimately burned 30 acres in Clackamas County and McIver State Park. Firefighters continue to mop up the fire, which involves extinguishing or removing burning material and removing any hazardous trees or snags.

The timeline for completing an investigation varies depending on the complexity of a fire, the availability of people for interviews, and the time it takes to analyze the collected information. The Department of Forestry investigates all wildland fires that occur on or threaten its protected lands to determine cause, responsible party and other information pertinent to the needs of the Department. If someone is determined to be responsible for a fire, they are liable for firefighting costs. If a fire burns across jurisdictions, the other organizations responsible for fire protection in those jurisdictions, in this case the Estacada Rural Fire District, may also participate in the investigation.

At this time, the departments are anticipating the investigation to be completed around mid-November 2022. 

State shares revised action plan, timeline for engaging Oregonians in protecting lives, property from wildfire - 09/22/22

SALEM, Ore.—The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) today announced a revised action plan and timeline for engaging the public on wildfire protection efforts as part of the state’s strategy to create more fire-resilient communities.

“A big part of our work over the next year is focused on engaging with, listening to and informing the public about wildfire risk,” said Cal Mukumoto, Oregon State Forester and director of ODF. “This engagement will involve visiting communities across the state, talking with people, addressing concerns and answering questions. Ultimately, all of the agencies involved in this effort want to make sure Oregonians in the most at-risk communities know what they can do to better protect themselves, their families and friends, and their homes from wildfire.” 

In the past decade, wildfires have been burning significantly more acres than before, while also becoming more challenging and costlier to fight. Between 2012 and 2021, the state of Oregon spent $85 million annually on wildfire suppression costs. That is compared to the previous 10 years in which the state spent $17 million annually. The scale, devastation and statewide reach of the 2020 Labor Day fires brought this reality home for many. Less than a year later, Senate Bill 762’s statewide framework for advancing wildfire protection in Oregon moved through the Oregon State Legislature with bipartisan support. 

The revised plan will be implemented in collaboration with Oregon State University’s (OSU) College of Forestry, the Oregon State Fire Marshal (OSFM) and the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS).

“Most Oregonians understand wildfires are becoming more catastrophic and more frequent. I have witnessed, across the state, that Oregonians want to be part of the solution in protecting our communities,” said Doug Grafe, Wildfire Programs Director with the Office of the Governor. “It’s clear that steps can be taken to increase the survivability of homes and communities when wildfires do occur, including creating defensible space, hardening homes and implementing hazardous fuels reduction projects.”

One component of SB 762 was the creation of a statewide wildfire risk map to serve as a planning and information tool for Oregonians, communities and state and local government. The purpose of the map—a collaboration between ODF and wildfire scientists at OSU’s College of Forestry—is to provide transparent and science-based information to Oregonians about the factors near them that drive wildfire exposure including weather, climate, vegetation and topography. The tool will also be used to guide the state in directing resources to communities with the greatest likelihood of wildfires. 

“Oregon State University’s College of Forestry has used, and will continue to use, the best science to contribute to statewide wildfire risk mapping,” said Tom DeLuca, dean of OSU’s College of Forestry. “We support the importance of changing the timeline for the mapping component of SB 762. This added time provides an opportunity to better share information and conduct authentic community engagement by listening to Oregonians and community leaders across our state in the implementation of the new law. Even with the timeline change, we must all recognize that addressing fire risk in Oregon is a priority that will require all of us to work together.”  

Based on feedback and concerns received from an earlier version of the wildfire risk map, the state revised its timeline for implementing the map to allow for robust community engagement, outreach and education. The revised timeline is as follows: 

  • October through February 2023: Public and stakeholder engagement, outreach and education. Includes wildfire science, risk and mitigation outreach and education, with focus on the most vulnerable areas; identifying opportunities for investments in wildfire prevention; completing building codes and defensible space standards for the most vulnerable communities; compilation and analysis of feedback received; and technical refinements.
  • March 1, 2023: Public rollout of draft wildfire risk map. Draft map shared with the public.
  • March through September 2023: Public outreach, engagement and education on draft wildfire risk map. Includes working with ODF, OSU College of Forestry, local governments, planning departments, Department of Land Conservation and Development, Oregon State Fire Marshal and the state Building Codes Division to review the draft map; public outreach, education and engagement on the draft map and related topics including building codes and defensible space standards; and making any necessary revisions based on feedback received on updated map.
  • October through December 2023: Final wildfire risk map shared with the public for implementation. Includes sharing a final wildfire risk map with the public, initiating a 60-day appeals process and notifying those who are in the most high-risk areas about the steps needed to protect their homes and properties from catastrophic wildfires and how to comply with defensible space standards and building codes.

“The revised plan and timeline allow us to prioritize engagement, collaboration and communication,” said Grafe. “We are committed to ensuring people understand what they can do to increase the likelihood their homes and properties will survive wildfires. The wildfire risk map is one of several tools we will use to inform this work.”

SB 762 directs state agencies to focus resources in Oregon’s highest-risk areas to ensure homes are adhering to building codes and defensible space standards. These building codes and defensible space standards will not be adopted or implemented until the wildfire risk map is finalized in late 2023, but will be available in the near future so people can familiarize themselves with the new expectations. 

The DCBS Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) confirmed last month that no Oregon insurance company used the original map to set rates (rating) or as part of a decision to offer or renew insurance coverage (underwriting), and none planned to use it for those purposes in the future. The DFR continues to conduct work to ensure that wildfire mitigation activities are accounted for in underwriting and rating processes. Homeowners are encouraged to contact DFR’s consumer advocates at 1-888-877-4894 (toll-free) with questions or concerns about their insurance policy.

For more information, visit the following websites:

More than 50 of these saplings grown from the seed of trees that survived the atom bombing of Hiroshima have now found homes in Oregon.
More than 50 of these saplings grown from the seed of trees that survived the atom bombing of Hiroshima have now found homes in Oregon.
Oregon Department of Forestry celebrates conclusion of statewide plantings of Hiroshima peace trees (Photo) - 09/20/22

MEDIA ADVISORY 

Media wishing to cover the Sept. 21 event in person should contact Jim Gersbach by phone or 

SALEM, Ore. — A four-year-long campaign to plant saplings grown from the seeds of trees that survived the atom bombing of Hiroshima finishes Sept. 21 with a celebration at the Oregon Department of Forestry’s headquarters in Salem. That date was chosen because it is the International Day of Peace as declared by the United Nations General Assembly back in 1981.

Representatives from 45 organizations that planted a total of 51 peace trees in 35 communities around the state have been invited to the ceremony. Also attending will be a number of Japanese-American organizations.

Oregon State Forester Cal Mukumoto, whose ancestry is Japanese-American, will welcome guests and thank them for making Oregon the home to one of the densest concentrations of Hiroshima peace trees outside Japan. 

Guest of honor will be Hideko Tamura-Snider from Medford. She was 10 years old living in Hiroshima when the city was flattened by the first of two atomic bombs the U.S. dropped on Japan in August 1945. Buried in the ruins of her grandmother’s home, Hideko was able to free herself and survived the firestorm that later engulfed the city. Her mother and other relatives were killed by the blast. 

Hideko moved to the United States, eventually settling in Oregon where she wrote two books about her experiences. She founded the One Sunny Day Initiative to promote peace and nuclear disarmament around the world. At her urging, arborist Mike Oxendine in Ashland obtained seeds of survivor trees from the Green Legacy Hiroshima organization. Its volunteers collect and send the seeds around the world as ambassadors of peace. 

After Oxendine germinated the seeds, Oregon Community Trees and the Oregon Department of Forestry collaborated in finding homes for the trees. Communities large and small from all parts of the state responded enthusiastically. Today the trees can be found from the coast to La Grande, and from Hood River to Klamath Falls. The 51st tree was planted in Gresham just on Sept. 19. 

As part of Wednesday’s ceremonies, ODF will be dedicating the ginkgo peace tree planted on its campus back in April 2020. COVID restrictions at that time prevented large public gatherings so the dedication was postponed to Sept. 21 of this year to coincide with International Day of Peace.

“These peace trees not only convey a message of peace from the residents of Hiroshima, they are also symbols of survival and resilience in the face of unimaginable destruction,” said State Forester Mukumoto. “Seeing them putting down roots in the good soil of Oregon and reaching for the sky gives me hope that people in our state – like the survivors in Hiroshima – can not only endure harsh times but can share with others the hard-won wisdom from having persevered through them.“

                                                                        # # #

Remain aware and continue to practice wildfire prevention as weather changes - 09/16/22

Salem, OR— The Oregon Department of Forestry wants to remind Oregonians that even with the weather starting to transition to fall, fire is still on the landscape and fire season is still in effect. Oregon is still experiencing severe drought in majority of the state, dry fuels, higher temperatures and low humidity, the department wants to warn the public against complacency. 

“East wind events, like the one we experienced this past weekend, are very common around this time of year. There is still potential for more fire starts and the season isn’t over yet” Mike Shaw, Fire Protection Division Chief, said. “We are prepared for new fire starts; however, the less human caused fires we have, the less strained our resources will be.”

Even with lower temperatures, there is still potential for a fire to start and grow significantly. Thus far in the season, Oregonians have done a good job of keeping human-caused fires below the 10-year average. ODF encourages the public to keep up the good work and persist until the official end of fire season. 

“With the temperature changes, it’s easy to think that fires are lessening. However, we are still seeing new fire starts daily throughout the state of Oregon,” Levi Hopkins, Wildfire Prevention and Policy Manager, said. 

Wildfire prevention means:

  • Debris burning is prohibited during fire season without a permit. Cover your pile and wait until fire season is over. A dry, covered pile is cleaner and safer to burn late fall and winter.
  • Don’t park your car over dried grass, and make sure your vehicle or ATV is regularly serviced
  • Dispose of your cigarette using designated receptacles, and NEVER discard butts on the ground or in vegetation outdoors.
  • Check local restrictions before lighting a campfire.

Several ODF districts have updated their fire danger levels recently; however most of the state remains between moderate and extreme fire danger. Visit Oregon.gov/odf to find local fire restrictions and keeporegongreen.org for more wildfire prevention tips. 

Committee for Emergency Fire Cost to hold special virtual meeting on Sept. 29 - 09/14/22

SALEM, Ore. – The Emergency Fire Cost Committee will meet virtually on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, at 1 p.m. for a special meeting. Please use the Zoom video conference information found on the agenda. To provide public comment, please contact Chrystal Bader at 503-945-7220.

The only item on the agenda is:

  • Strategic investments

The meeting is open to the public to attend virtually via Zoom. Public comments will be accepted near the end of the meeting as noted on the agenda. Requests for an interpreter for the hearing impaired or other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made at least 72 hours before the meeting by contacting Chrystal Bader at 503-945-7220.

The Emergency Fire Cost Committee oversees the Oregon Forest Land Protection Fund (OFLPF), established by the Oregon Legislature as an insurance fund with the purpose of equalizing emergency fire suppression costs among the various Oregon Department of Forestry protection districts. The emergency funding system is designed to operate as an insurance policy whereby all districts contribute (pay premiums) into the fund so that money will be available to any individual district to pay fire suppression costs on emergency fires. View more information on the EFCC webpage.

Informational meetings set on proposed changes to Forest Practices Act - 09/13/22

SALEM, Ore.— The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) will host three in-person and one virtual information sessions to explain the proposed rule changes to Oregon Forest Practices Act (FPA).  The meetings will be open house style with 45-minutes of presentations followed by an hour-long question and answer period at various stations.  The virtual session will feature the same presentations followed by a group question and answer period.  

The FPA changes are the result of agreements reached between timber industry and conservation group representatives and formalized in the Private Forest Accord (PFA), and with the passage of Senate Bills 1501 and 1502. The changes to the FPA assure the timber industry long-term regulatory certainty while providing environmental protections sought by conservation groups. 

The Legislature directed ODF to work with the accord authors to make changes to the administrative rules that govern forest operations, known collectively as the Forest Practices Act.   

The information sessions are to help people understand the proposed changes so they can make formal public comments either at the virtual hearings or by written submission by the Sept. 30 deadline. 

The in-person sessions will be at: 

Roseburg:
Douglas County Fairgrounds, Cascade West Hall
Location:  2110 SW Frear Street Roseburg, OR 97471  
Date:   Sept. 15 
Time:  5-7 p.m. 

Pendleton:
Pendleton Convention Center, Happy Canyon Room 
Location:  1601 Westgate Pendleton, OR 97801 
Date:  Sept 20 
Time:  5-7 p.m. 

Forest Grove:
Holbrook Masonic Lodge
Location:  2019 Main Street, Forest Grove, OR 97116 
Date:  Sept. 21 
Time:  5-7 p.m. 

Virtual session:
Zoom meeting 
Date: Sept 22 
Time:  5-7 p.m. 

 

Separate Formal Public Hearings information: 

There will be no informal portion or question and answer period at the formal public hearings. These hearings are to gather formal public comments on the proposed FPA rule revisions only. 

Verbal comments can be made at any of the virtual public meetings below: 

Written comments can be sent to sb1501.rulemaking@oregon.gov  until 11:55 p.m. on Sept. 30. 

For more information and a copy of the proposed rule revisions see ODF’s Private Forest Accord website

Department of Forestry standing ready as east winds intensify - 09/09/22

Winds have been steadily increasing throughout the state as the predicted weather event continues to intensify. Hot, dry conditions with strong east winds at the height of fire season make it easy for fires to start and spread quickly. Almost exactly two years ago, a similar weather event started on Labor Day, and the resulting fires devastated communities across the state.

Statewide, Oregon Department of Forestry firefighters are standing ready to do what they do best: find fires early, get to them quickly and keep them small. Success in limiting acres burned and people impacted by wildfires requires being proactive and prepared. 

“I can assure you that ODF absolutely understands the seriousness of the current situation and have been actively preparing for more than a week now, said Mike Shaw, chief of fire protection for the Oregon Department of Forestry. “We’ll do everything in our power to protect Oregonians and our state’s natural resources.” 

Those preparedness efforts have included moving resources—including personnel and aircraft—to the areas of highest risk. At the local level, many ODF protection districts have canceled days off to ensure they have the maximum number of firefighters available to respond when needed. ODF staff has also remained in close contact with the incident management teams handling the large fires, which helps local leadership stay up-to-date on nearby fire activity so they can prepare to defend private properties if necessary. 

An example of this type of preparedness effort in action is playing out in Lane County, where the Cedar Creek fire is burning on the Willamette National Forest.  After seeing concerning fire growth and movement earlier this week, ODF’s South Cascade District requested personnel and heavy equipment from public and private entities statewide to staff a task force. The task force, along with several strike teams of structural engines coordinated through the Lane County Fire Defense Board Chief are focused on protecting Oakridge and other nearby private lands. The task force is currently scouting access points and planning their attack in the event the east winds drive the fire off federal and onto private lands. 

The department has also increased public and industrial restrictions statewide to limit activities that pose a high risk of starting a fire. “We need help from every one of you to keep our communities and firefighters safe,” Shaw said. “With the conditions out there and the number of fires already burning, we can’t afford another wildfire.” 

ODF encourages people to check local fire danger levels and to know and follow the local public activity restrictions. An interactive map showing fire danger levels and prohibited activities on ODF-protected lands is available at https://gisapps.odf.oregon.gov/firerestrictions/PFR.html. The map also provides information on where to learn more about fire danger and restrictions on lands outside of ODF’s jurisdiction.

For the latest news and information from ODF, follow the department on Facebook (oregondepartmentofforestry) where there are also links to other key information sources related to this weather event.

Northwest Oregon forests moving to extreme fire danger, additional public use restrictions in place - 09/08/22

SALEM, Ore. — With hot, dry and windy conditions in the forecast, forestland in northwest Oregon protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry will be in Extreme Fire Danger as of 1 a.m. Friday, Sept. 9, with additional public restrictions on campfires and open flame, off-highway vehicle use, mowing dry grass, and other activities.

With this change, all ODF-protected lands will be in extreme fire danger. Fire danger and associated restrictions for all lands protected by ODF can be found on the ODF website at tiny.cc/odffirerestrictions.

Starting Friday in northwest Oregon, off-highway vehicle trails will be closed, campfires completely banned, and some forest roads will close to vehicle traffic. For northwest Oregon, this includes all ODF-protected lands in Clatsop, Columbia, Tillamook, Washington, Clackamas, Marion, Polk, Linn, Lincoln & Benton counties, including the Tillamook, Clatsop and Santiam state forests.

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for northwest Oregon and southwest Washington starting 11 a.m. Friday through 11 p.m. Saturday, indicating critical fire conditions. The NWS is predicting a moderate-to-strong east wind event starting Friday and continuing through at least Saturday night. Historically, east winds and dry conditions in late summer have resulted in some of northwest Oregon’s largest wildfires, including the 2020 Labor Day fires. 

Precautions such as these can prevent most wildfires:

  • Check current fire restrictions for the area before visiting: Under extreme fire danger in northwest Oregon, campfires are banned and off-highway vehicle trails are closed.
  • Check your vehicle for dragging tow chains that can send sparks into roadside vegetation.
  • Don’t park or idle on dry grass or brush – the hot exhaust system can set it smoldering in seconds.
  • Smoke only in an enclosed vehicle. Properly dispose of cigarette butts.
  • If you see smoke, call 911.
  • Always have fire extinguishing tools on hand.

Regional Forest Practice Committees for Northwest and Eastern Oregon will meet virtually Sept. 8, Southwest Oregon has been canceled - 09/07/22

UPDATE 9/7/2022, 2nd update: All Regional Forest Practice Committees (Northwest, Southwest and Eastern Oregon) meetings have been canceled.

Please email forestresources.committees@odf.oregon.gov with any questions. 

SALEM, Ore. – The Regional Forest Practice Committees are canceled. Northwest Oregon will meet virtually starting at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 8. Southwest Oregon will meet at 2 p.m. and Eastern Oregon will meet at 3 p.m. To join virtually, please use the Zoom video conference information found on the agendas. To provide public comment, 

The committee’s agenda includes:

  • Private Forest Accord draft rules discussion

The public may attend online via Zoom. Public comments will be accepted. Requests for an interpreter for the hearing impaired or other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made at least 72 hours before the meeting by emailing forestresources.committees@odf.oregon.gov.

Regional Forest Practices Committees are panels of citizens – mandated under Oregon law – that advise the Oregon Board of Forestry on current forestry issues and forest management approaches. In 1971, the legislature enacted Oregon’s Forest Practices Act which includes three Regional Forest Practices Committees, serving the Eastern, Northwest and Southwest regions of the state. Under Oregon law, a majority of the committees’ members must be private forest landowners and logging or forest operations companies.

Oregon’s forests are among the state’s most valued resources, providing a balanced mix of environmental, economic and social benefits. View more information on the RFPC webpage.