Oregon News

Spring prescribed burning to begin on the Willamette National Forest

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Media Contact: Chris Donaldson
(503) 375-5662
[email protected]

Springfield, Ore. – May 11, 2023. The Willamette National Forest expects to begin prescribed burning across approximately 600 acres in the next few weeks, depending on how weather and fuels conditions develop. Fire managers will be closely monitoring temperature, humidity, and winds to ensure specific conditions are met and prescribed burns will only be implemented if all parameters are in accordance with the developed burn plans. Fire mangers will also be working with State Smoke Management Forecasters to ensure favorable smoke management conditions, and to limit smoke impacts to roads and communities. In areas where prescribed fires are conducted, fire personnel will continue to patrol and monitor burned areas until the fire is burn is declared out.

Prescribed burning is a valuable tool to improve forest health and increase resiliency to wildfire. It involves igniting a controlled, low intensity fire to consume undergrowth and post-harvest organic materials under specific conditions of temperature, wind, and humidity. This limits fire behavior and reduces the likelihood of heavy smoke impacting nearby communities. The benefits of treating these fuels include reducing the severity of future wildfires near communities, increasing firefighter safety in initial and extended response, and maintaining overall healthy forests.

“Prescribed burning uses low intensity fire to remove hazardous fuels and replicate the natural fire disturbance process under strictly defined weather and fuels conditions” says Chris Donaldson Deputy Fire Staff Officer. “These types of projects reduce risk and can increase habitat diversity across the landscape.”

Specific information will be provided prior to each burn day as fuels specialists verify weather conditions are conducive to burning, and smoke clearance is granted. For information, follow the Willamette National Forest Facebook page or Twitter (@WillametteNF).

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