Figures released last week from the Oregon Department of Forestry show the 2009 fire season was relatively tame.

On the 15.8 million acres protected by ODF, only 8,200 acres burned in 2009, well below a 10-year average of 26,082 acres.

"We're pretty happy about that," said Rod Nichols, a public information officer for the department. "It was part skillful firefighting and part nature cooperating.

"Firefighters got on fires quickly, and we didn't have those situations where we had widespread fire starts that stretched our resources thin," he said.

Of 952 total fires on ODF lands in 2009, 664 were human-caused and 288 were lightning-caused, according to the ODF figures.

The department protects private forest lands, state-owned lands, some Western Oregon Bureau of Land Management lands and some local government-owned lands.

In Oregon forests that are protected by the U.S. Forest Service and BLM, 61,199 acres burned this year from 1,230 fires.

There are 30.4 million acres of forestland in Oregon. Of that, about 14.2 million are national forests managed by the Forest Service and about 3.8 million are BLM lands. There are about 11.1 million acres of forestland in Oregon under private ownership.

State and local governments own about 1.1 million acres.

Other federal agencies with smaller ownerships include the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of Defense.

-- Mitch Lies


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