Southwest OR – Due to the recent change in weather conditions, the RRSNF will begin scheduled prescribed burning operations across the Forest, a transition that happens each fall.
“Our prescribed burning program provides an opportunity for the Forest Service to reduce the fuels on the forest floor that feed wildfires. By reducing the amount of fuels, we are working to reduce smoke in our communities. Having said that, we have a tremendous amount of work ahead of us to accomplish,” said Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Supervisor Merv George, Jr.
Currently, prescribed burns are planned across the RRSNF are in a variety of projects and locations, including those where the RRSNF has previously invested time in fuels reduction work, near neighboring private lands that are at-risk from wildfire, and areas that need fuel reduction or wildlife habitat enhancement. Some of the project areas that are priorities are:
- 1,280 acres in the Big Butte Springs Watershed and Gingko Basin Area;
- 228 acres of pile burning and underburning on the Gold Beach Ranger District;
- 3,500 acres across the Wild Rivers Ranger District, including areas in the Waters Creek and Hayes Hill areas;
- 1,848 acres of handpiles and 204 acres of underburning in the Ashland Forest Resiliency Project;
- 793 acres in the Upper Applegate area; and
- 1,065 acres of pile burning on the Powers Ranger District.
Why do agencies conduct prescribed burns? Prescribed burn operations are planned with required safety precautions in place, and lit by qualified fire personnel during carefully selected and monitored conditions. A burn plan and “prescription” sets out the conditions which allow low-intensity fire to consume the piles and ground-level fuels most effectively and safely, all while protecting larger trees and soils. Fire managers select weather conditions that will send smoke away from nearby sensitive communities as much as possible. Afterwards, regular patrols are assigned to check on prescription areas to make sure they are remaining within the designated and planned project areas.
The RRSNF will be looking for opportunities to conduct prescribed burns throughout the fall, winter and spring seasons, as conditions allow. Weather trends that bring moisture will typically result in pile burning, while drier weather is conducive to under burning or meadow restoration burns. The public can see where the RRSNF and its neighbors are planning to burn on the RRSNF and Rogue Valley Interagency Communications Center website, which is updated every morning.
Contact: Virginia Gibbons, Public Affairs Officer (541) 618-2113
Chamise Kramer, Public Affairs Specialist (541) 618-2051