With recent funding provided by the Jackson County Board of Commissioners, the Jackson County Parks Program and Sheriff office began work on the Bear Creek Greenway to reduce fuels in strategic locations in advance of this year’s fire season. This work was conducted in partnership with Fire District 3, Medford Fire and Rescue, and the Oregon Department of Forestry. Over 40 acres were cleared of fuels using heavy equipment and treatment of invasive plants has been ongoing along the entire Greenway to prevent regrowth. The work completed in the north end of the Bear Creek Greenway made a significant difference in keeping the Dean Creek Fire to 3 acres. Work included eradication of fuels including blackberry and hemlock, along with fire breaks in key locations.
The Dean Creek Fire was on County-owned property which had been part of the Jackson County fuel reduction work. "In speaking with Fire District 3, it became clear that all of the efforts completed since the Almeda Fire contributed to controlling the size of the Dean Creek Fire," shares Jackson County Parks Manager Steve Lambert.
In addition to funding fuel reduction work, the Jackson County Board of Commissioners recently approved an order prohibiting use of the areas off the paved trail on county owned lands along the Greenway. The Jackson County Sheriff office, along with the Parks Program has been enforcing this order to reduce the opportunity for fires to break out in the natural areas of the greenway. The area in and around the Dean Creek fire has recently been absent of any camps due to these efforts.
“While the cause of the Dean Creek fire is under investigation, according to Fire District 3, it appears to have been a result of Tuesday night’s lightning storm, rather than a houseless camp,” shares Jackson County Parks Manager Steve Lambert.
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