SW OREGON, September 3, 2019 – 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. This prescribed fire season comes on the heels of a mild fire season, and with predicted weather conditions, fire managers are planning an aggressive approach to prescribed burning, with an emphasis on protecting communities from wildfire threat, and restoring forest resiliency.
“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.
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. The public are also encouraged for follow the RRSNF on Facebook and Twitter for the latest information and regular updates.