Oct 20, 2023 - News

It's officially the end of Oregon's wildfire season

Two hotshot firefighters battle the Flat fire in the Siskiyou National Forest in July. Photo courtesy of Flat Fire Incident Information.

This year's wildfire season in Oregon is over, according to state fire officials.

Driving the news: With the arrival of cooler temperatures, higher humidity and widespread rain soaking the region, all of Oregon Department of Forestry's fire districts have lifted fire restrictions (the burning of debris, lighting fireworks, etc).

Why it matters: When wildfire season settles down, firefighters are able to work on prevention and mitigation efforts — clearing debris in forests, creating defensible space, and assisting with controlled burns.

By the numbers: This year, across Oregon, there were 1,909 wildfires that burned 190,507 acres, according to statewide data — a relatively light season compared to previous years when multiple large fires devastated more than 1 million acres in 2020.

  • The year-to-date estimated total cost of fighting wildfires for ODF this year is nearly $43 million, according to Jessica Prakke, a department spokesperson — up $20 million since Axios Portland last checked in with the agency in August.
  • 94% of wildland fires were extinguished before they reached 10 acres — thanks, in part, to the state's smokejumpers.

The intrigue: The end of wildfire season doesn't mean every wildfire is put out.

  • Several of the state's largest wildfires this year are still smoldering and haven't reached 100% containment.
  • This includes the Flat fire in the Siskiyou National Forest, which has been burning since July, and Tyee Ridge Complex fire in Douglas County, just south of Eugene.
avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Portland.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Portland stories

No stories could be found

Portlandpostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Portland.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more