Most of our recreation permits expire on 12/31 every year. If you have a permit and would like to renew, please stop by our office. We are open 7 am to 4:30 pm, M-F. This week, we close at 12 pm on New Year’s Eve and are closed on Friday, 1/1/16. Happy New Year!
The Oregon Dept. of Forestry issued this news release.
Measuring the 2015 Oregon wildfire season in gallons
December 22, 2015
Rod Nichols, (503) 945-7425, firstname.lastname@example.org
So, just how severe was Oregonâ€™s wildfire season this summer? About 838,000 gallonsâ€™ worth, according to Neal Laugle, the Department of Forestryâ€™s (ODF) aviation unit manager. Thatâ€™s how much liquid retardant the departmentâ€™s air tankers dumped on fires in 2015. And that figure doesnâ€™t include the thousands of gallons of straight water dropped by ODF contracted helicopters in close support of ground firefighting forces.
The window of opportunity in which to stop a new blaze from growing large has shrunk from days to hours, due to the extreme summer weather and forest fuel conditions. Fire managers with ODF and the fire associations increasingly rely on air power to even the odds, launching air and ground resources simultaneously, which often shaves response time to minutes.
ODFâ€™s contracted large air tanker can reach a fire quickly and deliver 3,000 gallons of retardant in a single load. This slows fire growth and buys time for fire engines and hand crews to arrive on scene and begin direct attack. Single-engine air tankers (SEATs) use their speed and maneuverability to box in a fire with multiple, smaller retardant drops. All told, air tankers logged more than 700 flight hours this summer. The agencyâ€™s helicopters put in 834 hours slinging water to hot spots with their cable-suspended buckets.
Fire aviation snapshot
Statistics currently available are for ODF– and fire association-protected lands west of the Cascades. This summer, most of the aerial firefighting took place east of the Cascades (86 percent), followed by southern Oregon (14 percent), and northwestern Oregon (less than one percent).
Â§ In 2015, the Douglas Forest Protective Association in Douglas County flew 60 helicopter missions and also assisted ODFâ€™s Southwest Oregon District and the Willamette National Forest. A small plane flew 55 missions that included fire detection, monitoring of existing fires, and guiding air operations (air tankers and helicopters) over fires.
Â§ The departmentâ€™s Southwest Oregon District (Jackson and Josephine counties) conducted 150 missions, including air tanker and helicopter flights. Helicopters performed air attack, helitack (insertion of firefighters at fires, along with making water drops) and transport of personnel and cargo.
Â§ Coos Forest Protective Association logged 55 flight hours on 19 different fires in Coos and Douglas counties to quench the flames with water drops. In addition, CFPA aircraft flew reconnaissance during lightning events to detect new fires.
ODFâ€™s aggressive firefighting tactics can create an â€œairshowâ€ of multiple tankers and helicopters over an active fire. When the meter is running on all these aircraft, costs mount quickly. But stopping even one high-potential blaze from spreading to thousands of acres can save millions of dollars in the long term.
As an example, the 26,000-acre Stouts Creek Fire in Douglas County cost $37 million to extinguish. And that is just for suppression. Damage to the forest resource, which includes timber as well as fish and wildlife habitats, typically totals at least three times the firefighting expense.
No one can accurately predict the intensity of future fire seasons. But the current trend has the department, its partner resource agencies, and private forest landowners scrambling to meet the challenge. Aviation will undoubtedly continue to play a major role in Oregonâ€™s fire protection system in the years to come.
If you would like to find and cut your Christmas tree on Starker Forests lands, please come to our office to get a permit. This year, available trees are naturally grown and not shaped.
Permits are available for a $5 donation to Old Mill Center or the Boys and Girls Club (your choice). Starker Forests will match the donation to each organization.
We will give you a map of the area we have selected for cutting Christmas trees. The area is near Blodgett.
Christmas tree permits are available M-F 7 am-4:30 pm until December 23rd.
The West Oregon District will terminate fire season on Monday, October 26, 2015 at 1:00 am. For hunters, some gates will be open starting 10/22. All gates that will be open for hunters should be open by the middle of the week of October 26th.
Regulated Use will come to an end for the season on Sunday morning, 10/ 18. Fire season has yet to be declared over. For our permittee hunters, this means that our gates will remain closed. With the wet forecast for next week, we all hope fire season will end soon! Please do not block the gate when you park. No campfires and no smoking please!
General Western Oregon Rifle Season is coming up on October 3rd and extends to November 6th! Our office offers free permits to hunt on Starker Forests lands.
We ask that you come to our office in person to obtain your permit and maps.
We are getting a ton of phone calls about gates being open or closed. Here is the scoop: Gates will remain closed until the Oregon Department of Forestry declares an end to both Regulated Use AND Fire Season. We know this is inconvenient for some but hope you understand that as long as fire season continues, the threat of fire exists. We promise to keep you updated!
Attention Starker Forests recreation permittees:
Fire danger remains extreme. Starker Forests is one of only a few forest landowners whose lands remain open to the public for recreational use. Conversations are occurring on a daily basis about whether we will close our lands to the public due to the current weather conditions, weather forecast and available firefighting resources.
As of now, our lands remain open. Please check our website or Facebook page for updates.
Please remember the following rules and guidelines for recreational use on our lands.
1 â€“ Walk in access only â€“ absolutely NO motorized vehicles at any time
2 â€“ No parking in tall grass
3 â€“ DO NOT Block gates â€“ you will be towed at your expense
4 â€“ Absolutely NO smoking or target shooting at any time
Contact Starker Forests or the local County Sheriffâ€™s office if you notice anyone using our forestlands in an unauthorized manner. Please call our office if you have any questions.
Enjoy your walk, hike, ride or hunt!
Oregon forest owners, operators making big difference in the fire fight
August 21, 2015
Oregon Dept. of Forestry
In the massive, multi-agency effort to corral dozens of wildfires burning across the state, the work of Oregonâ€™s private forest owners and operators often gets overlooked. To borrow from firefighting lingo, these landowners are the true â€œfirst respondersâ€ when it comes to battling fires. If a timber harvest operation sparks a small fire, for example, in most instances the loggers on scene put it out immediately. But only a fraction of the blazes are started by their activities.
â€œIt is worth noting that the large majority of human-caused fires are not industrial related,â€ said Rex Storm with Associated Oregon Loggers. â€œMost result from carelessness and not from industrial activities such as logging.â€
When large fires do occur, whether from lightning or people, forest landowners figure as a major player in the suppression actions. The Oregon Department of Forestryâ€™s Astoria District Forester, Dan Goody, recalls the way forest owners in his area responded when he advised them earlier this summer about predicted extreme weather conditions.
â€œThey put a lot of thought into planning and preparing for fires,â€ he said. â€œAnd when the fires broke out, they dropped what they were doing and rushed to the scene to help.â€
They bring a lot of know-how and hardware to the job. Forest landowners are intimately familiar with the terrain, road systems, and other information crucial to a firefighting operation. And when the West Oregon District called on them for help, they even brought heavy equipment to fill in for ODF fire engines and other gear that had been dispatched to fight existing fires.
â€œWhen the Willamina Creek Fire took off, local landowners organized task forces of their company fire engines and also water tenders to back up department firefighters,â€ said Mike Dykzeul with the Oregon Forest Industries Council (OFIC). â€œFor example Starker Forests, Inc. placed engines at the offices in Dallas and Philomath to back up ODF.â€
Starker and other forestry companies have been fully engaged in assisting agency suppression operations throughout the state during this severe fire season. While the industry has routinely responded to firefighting needs â€œfor more than a century,â€ he said the 2015 response has been remarkable. OFIC put out a call for assistance to landowners and forest operation Aug. 15, citing the extreme fire conditions and the shortage of resources. The notice included an appeal for â€œtrained personnel and equipment, capable of assisting in suppression actions, to make their availability knownâ€ to their local ODF or fire protective association office.
Oregonâ€™s forest industry quickly stepped up to fill specialized fire team positions such as Falling Boss and Dozer Boss, along with supplying an array of equipment from bulldozers for constructing fire line, to mechanized logging gear to create fire breaks.
There could be a lot if fire season still ahead. But Goody is optimistic based on the response he has seen so far from landowners and operators.
â€œIt has worked really well â€“ a fully coordinated statewide system on steroids,â€ he said. â€œGiven the scarcity of resources across the state, I donâ€™t think we could have made such a strong response without their efforts.â€
Very hot, dry, and unstable conditions are in the forecast by mid-week, coupled with already dry fuels has prompted an IFPL change.
Effective 1:00 am, Wednesday, July 29, 2015, West Oregon District will be going to an IFPL level 3 in WO-1 and an IFPL 2 in SL-1.