FIRE RESTRICTIONS: - Fire Season in effect
FIRE RESTRICTIONS: - Regulated Closure not in effect
IFPL Map MH1 IFPL: - IFPL 1 in effect MH4 IFPL: - IFPL 1 in effect

Friday, April 29, 2016

Seedlings available to local landowners

In partnership with the USFS Malheur National Forest, ODF’s John Day Unit will be redistributing surplus tree seedlings to local private landowners for planting.  Seedlings will be redistributed on a first come first server basis, with a 500 seedling per landowner limit.  Landowners who are interested in more seedlings will be considered after the initial distribution.  Seedlings will be available for pick-up starting May 2nd, at 9:00 am.  Details are available by contacting Shelly Speakman at ODF’s John Day Unit at 541-575-1139.

This is a unique opportunity for landowners in Grant County and the surrounding Blue Mountains to have access to seedlings grown for the region. The seedlings are bare root ponderosa pine.  These seedlings provide a perfect chance to reforest lands which have been affected by recent wildfires.

Store seedlings in a cool moist environment, and plan to plant the seedlings soon after picking them up.  Do not allow the roots to be exposed to air for a prolonged period.  To improve seedling survival carefully select the microsite by considering the following site conditions:
  • Plant in mineral soil, not duff.
  • Plant near an existing stump.
  • Avoid areas with compacted soil.
  • Use slight depressions where moisture may collect if available, avoid soil mounds.
  • Scrape away existing vegetation near planting site.

For more information on ODF’s Central Oregon District visit

Friday, April 15, 2016

ODF Encourages Fire Prevention in Spring Activities

As warmer spring weather inspires us to get out and enjoy all that central Oregon has to offer, ODF reminds us to practice fire safety to prevent uncontrolled fires.  Warm dry weather, alternating with cooler moist periods can give a false sense of reduced fire danger. Burning yard debris from landscaping projects or fuel reduction activities and campfires/warming fires can pose a significant wildfire risk if allowed to burn uncontrolled.
Escaped debris burns are the leading human-caused fire issue in Oregon, accounting for thirty fires burning 88 acres in the Central Oregon District in 2015.  Uncontrolled fire, or burning without a permit can result in citations and fines, as well as liability for any costs associated with suppression of the fire.

Consider alternatives to burning such as chipping, composting and debris removal programs through your local landfill.  There are many FireFree events scheduled this spring throughout central Oregon.  

Landowners are reminded to use precautions when burning yard debris.  Fire is less likely to escape control by following these safety tips:
·       Call your local burn number to determine if burning is allowed and if a permit is required.
·       Avoid burning during windy conditions.
·       Never leave a fire unattended.
·       Keep the fire small and manageable.
·       Have water and a shovel available.
·       Clear the area around the fire to mineral soil.
·       Burn only yard debris.
·       Drown fire with water and stir until it is cold to touch to extinguish
·       Report any uncontrolled fire to 9-1-1.

Additional tips can be found on ODF’s Fire Prevention webpage:
It is never too early to think about fire season.  While working on spring landscaping take the time to clean leaves and needles from your roof and gutters, as well as removing any vegetation and flammable material from under decks and adjacent to your home.

ODF’s Central Oregon District is not currently issuing burn permits for industrial logging slash.  Landowners are encouraged to check logging and slash piles which were burned last fall to ensure there has not been any holdover fire.

For more information on ODF’s Central Oregon District visit 

Friday, April 1, 2016

Oregon Department of Forestry partners with US Forest Service through the Federal Forest Health Program

News Release
April 1, 2016
Contacts:      Jamie Knight, 541-786-2039
                       Christie Shaw, 541-263-0661

Oregon Department of Forestry’s Northeast Oregon and Central Oregon Districts have partnered with the United States Forest Service to provide marking crews on federal timber sales. This partnership is funded by the Federal Forest Health Program initiated by Oregon’s Legislature during the 2013-15 biennium, and included again in the 2015-2017 biennium, intended to increase the pace, scale and quality of restoration on federal forests. 
Seasonal employees from Northeast Oregon (NEO) and Central Oregon Districts (COD) have been working with USFS timber marking crews following the historic 2015 fire season. This partnership has provided additional work through the winter for seasonal firefighters, along with the chance to learn new skills. The department looks for opportunities with cooperating agencies to extend employment for the seasonal workforce. By providing longer term employment opportunities, employees with valuable firefighting experience are more likely to continue working for ODF.

Partnerships with local National Forests in central Oregon have provided work for ten firefighters working on six sale areas including Bull, Fawn Springs, and Vance Creek, to increase the pace of implementation on a ten year stewardship contract in the Malheur National Forest supported by the Blue Mountain Forest Partners collaborative group. Other recent work has focused on roadside salvage projects within the Canyon Creek Complex near John Day. Firefighters who spent August trying to beat the blaze used snow shoes to access these same areas, marking trees for harvest later this spring. Crews are also working with the Ochoco and Deschutes National Forests in the Mel Stewardship area, and the Lobo and Lake timber sales. 
In northeast Oregon, crews are working with both the Wallowa-Whitman and Umatilla National Forests to provide personnel. Roadside salvage timber sales that occurred in conjunction with the Cornet-Windy Ridge fires, near Baker City were marked in the fall. Crews have also been working on the Henry and Whiskey timber sales on the Umatilla National Forest, both of which are part of the Kahler Project that was vetted by the Umatilla Forest Collaborative Group.

Working side by side with USFS employees, ODF crew members are marking timber sale boundaries and selecting trees for harvest. The work is guided by analysis conducted through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The added capacity provided through the Federal Forest Health Program allows harvest and forest management activities to occur at an increased pace and scale. This restoration work is intended to improve forest resiliency to wildfire, insects, and disease and provide economic benefits to local economies. 

For more information on the Central Oregon District and projects there visit  or contact Christie Shaw, Jamie Knight can provide information on the projects and partnerships in northeast Oregon.