ashland.news
May 27, 2024

Spring controlled burns sure to get attention

A fire crew with the Lomakatsi Restoration Project works on a prescribed burn off Griffin Lane southeast of Ruch in February 2023. Rogue Valley Times photo by Jamie Lusch
April 26, 2023

Prescribed burns planned in area Thursday through Sunday

Rogue Valley Times staff

With warm weather finally arriving, forest fuels are starting to dry out enough to allow prescribed burning operations to commence on federal lands in southwest Oregon.

Later this week and over the weekend, a number of areas are coming into the appropriate burn window that allows for safe burning operations, with an emphasis on reducing fuels to protect communities from wildfire threat while restoring forest resiliency, according to a joint news release from the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and Bureau of Land Management, Medford District.

Some of the burns are expected to be large and highly visible, and might cause public concern to the point that people will call 911, said Virginia Gibbons, spokesperson for the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.

“They can put up quite a bit of smoke,” Gibbons said.

Residents can expect to see some significant smoke in the Ashland area and the Applegate Valley, Waters Creek near Grants Pass, and the Willow Lake area, with some burning units of up to 350 acres planned starting Thursday through Sunday.

“With favorable weather upon us, we are going to resume our efforts to put ‘good fire’ on the landscape,” said Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Supervisor Merv George, Jr. “We utilize these shoulder seasons around fire season to remove as much hazardous fuels as safely possible. Once fire season starts, we will cease prescribed burning and transition right into suppression season.” 

During burning operations, fire personnel carefully monitor weather conditions to minimize smoke impacts and to keep the fire in control, the release stated. The spring and fall seasons are the best times of year to light a prescribed burn, as the fuels are in the right condition to burn without the fire getting too intense. This is achieved by creating a “cool” fire that stays on the ground and burns slowly through the vegetation, the release said.

Landscapes maintained by “good” fire are typically better for wildlife and native plants, and therefore create landscapes that are “healthier” or more resilient, from an ecological perspective, officials said.

Prescribed burns are carried out by trained firefighters who burn within “units” that have fire breaks along their boundaries. Fire breaks can include natural and human-made features (such as pre-dug fire lines). Equipment is nearby to ensure the flames don’t escape the unit. After ignition is complete, burn units are mopped up and patrolled until the burn is declared out, the release said.

The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest has up to 1,155 acres of underburns planned.

In the Siskiyou Mountains Ranger District:

  • The Ashland Forest Resiliency Project in the Ashland Watershed — a 350-acre maintenance burn in the west side of the watershed/Panther Peak area. See ashlandwatershed.org for more information.
  • Upper Applegate Watershed between Palmer Creek and Flumet Campground, 135 acres.

In the High Cascades Ranger District:

  • Bowen Willow, a 300-acre burn near Willow Lake.

The BLM-Medford District has 630 acres of underburns planned.

In the Butte Falls Field Office area, four units near Butte Falls covering 331 acres are planned, with two units northeast of Butte Falls near Butte Falls/Prospect Highway, one unit near Fredenburg Mountain, one unit in West Fork of Elk Creek.

In the Ashland Field Office area, four burns covering 299 acres are planned in the Applegate Valley, including an Upper Applegate Watershed project in Beaver Creek, near Boaz Mountain, near Cantrall Buckley Park, and in Tompson Creek.

Burns will generally start between 10 and 11 a.m. with signage posted on roadways as needed, the release said.

This story first appeared in the Rogue Valley Times.

Picture of Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

Related Posts...

Market’s up: Saturday growers market in full swing

Locals and tourists alike browsed through the Ashland Saturday Market, wandering between the booths with aromas of fresh produce and other food products among the chatter between vendors and visitors. Organized by the Rogue Valley Growers & Crafters Market, the Ashland Saturday Market runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. each week, closing down the 100 block of Oak Street in downtown Ashland.

Read More »

Obituary: Paul Vernon Edenstrom

Obituary: When our Beloved Paul Edenstrom, 74, passed over to the other side in his Ashland home in December, it was the kind of passing we all might wish for. He was surrounded by family, laughter and love, and though not unexpected in that moment, his passing was a surprise. To the last minute he was being funny, making people smile; the thing he loved most to do.

Read More »

Annual Ashland Memorial Day observance Monday

Scouts BSA Troop 112 will host a Memorial Day Observance in honor of fallen veterans Monday, May 27, at Mountain View Cemetery, 440 Normal Ave., Ashland. The Ashland Brass Band will perform at 10:30 a.m. with the formal observance starting at 11 a.m.

Read More »

Let’s talk: Collaborative conversation coaching order of the first Law Day

Local high school students relished their deep dive into navigating some of the thorniest political issues of our time at the first-ever Southern Oregon Law Day on Thursday at Southern Oregon University. The half-day event, held at Stevenson Union on the SOU campus, featured a number of experts in their respective fields, as well as opening remarks by Rep. Pam Marsh, D-Ashland, and closing remarks by Sen. Jeff Golden, D-Ashland.

Read More »

Latest posts

Market’s up: Saturday growers market in full swing

Locals and tourists alike browsed through the Ashland Saturday Market, wandering between the booths with aromas of fresh produce and other food products among the chatter between vendors and visitors. Organized by the Rogue Valley Growers & Crafters Market, the Ashland Saturday Market runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. each week, closing down the 100 block of Oak Street in downtown Ashland.

Read More >

Catty Corner: An Ashland cat gets care from free mobile vet clinic 

Catty Corner: For those who are unhoused or at risk, it can be challenging to take good care of their furry family members. For more than 10 years, Rogue Valley Street Dogs has been helping humans and their companion animals get access to spay/neuter surgeries as well as food, medical care, and supplies. Learn about their work, as well as the mobile vet clinics in partnership with the Street Dog Coalition.

Read More >

Reader Photo: A Memorial Day beach barbecue

Ashland resident Dale Robinette sends this photo to Ashland.news “and Ashland Family — After your breezy beach BBQ … the potato salad, chips and guacamole, the dogs and S-Mores … Remember our Armed Forces and Our Freedoms. Til we meet on down the road.” The photo was taken by Robinette on Redondo Beach, California — with lighting by cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt.

Read More >

Obituary: Paul Vernon Edenstrom

Obituary: When our Beloved Paul Edenstrom, 74, passed over to the other side in his Ashland home in December, it was the kind of passing we all might wish for. He was surrounded by family, laughter and love, and though not unexpected in that moment, his passing was a surprise. To the last minute he was being funny, making people smile; the thing he loved most to do.

Read More >

Explore More...

Market’s up: Saturday growers market in full swing

Locals and tourists alike browsed through the Ashland Saturday Market, wandering between the booths with aromas of fresh produce and other food products among the chatter between vendors and visitors. Organized by the Rogue Valley Growers & Crafters Market, the Ashland Saturday Market runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. each week, closing down the 100 block of Oak Street in downtown Ashland.

Read More>

Catty Corner: An Ashland cat gets care from free mobile vet clinic 

Catty Corner: For those who are unhoused or at risk, it can be challenging to take good care of their furry family members. For more than 10 years, Rogue Valley Street Dogs has been helping humans and their companion animals get access to spay/neuter surgeries as well as food, medical care, and supplies. Learn about their work, as well as the mobile vet clinics in partnership with the Street Dog Coalition.

Read More>

Reader Photo: A Memorial Day beach barbecue

Ashland resident Dale Robinette sends this photo to Ashland.news “and Ashland Family — After your breezy beach BBQ … the potato salad, chips and guacamole, the dogs and S-Mores … Remember our Armed Forces and Our Freedoms. Til we meet on down the road.” The photo was taken by Robinette on Redondo Beach, California — with lighting by cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt.

Read More>
ashland.news logo

Subscribe to the newsletter and get local news sent directly to your inbox.

(It’s free)

Don't Miss Our Top Stories

Get our newsletter delivered to your inbox three times a week.
It’s FREE and you can cancel anytime.