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December 08, 2021
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Fall Prescribed Burning Season Begins on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest

Burns to be conducted as weather conditions allow

Southwest Oregon, October 13, 2021—Due to recent changes in weather conditions, the RRSNF will begin scheduled prescribed burning operations on the forest, a transition that happens each fall. This prescribed fire season comes on the heels of a very active fire season for much of the Pacific Northwest and Northern California.

Thanks to aggressive initial attack efforts, strong cooperation between partners agencies and good availability of initial attack resources, the RRSNF was successful in suppressing 56 wildfires for a total of 53 acres burned.

With predicted favorable conditions in the forest, fire managers are now planning to switch to an aggressive approach to prescribed burning, with an emphasis on reducing fuels to protect communities from wildfire threat while restoring forest resiliency. 

“Our prescribed burning program provides an opportunity for the Forest Service to reduce fuels on the forest floor that feed wildfires. By reducing the amount of fuels, we are working to also reduce the amount of smoke in our communities. Having said that, we know the Rogue Valley is a collection point of smoke for this region. We’re doing our best to keep everyone safe and to protect our beautiful forest. By putting good fire on the landscape when the weather cools, we are able to achieve both,” said Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Supervisor Merv George, Jr.

Prescribed burns are planned across the RRSNF in a variety of locations, including near neighboring private lands that are at-risk from wildfire, in areas that need fuels reduction for wildlife habitat enhancement and also in those locations where the forest has previously invested time in fuels reduction work.

“It’s important to understand that doing fuels reduction work requires ongoing maintenance. It’s not a “one and done” type of activity,” said Assistant Fire Staff Rob Budge.

The RRSNF looks for opportunities in the fall, winter and spring seasons to conduct prescribed burns as weather conditions allow.  Weather trends that bring moisture will typically result in pile burning, while drier weather during these seasons is more conducive to under burning (landscape).

FY22 Planned Total Acres (15,328) by District:

Wild Rivers Ranger District                  4,210 acres

High Cascades Ranger District             3,210 acres

Gold Beach/Powers Ranger Districts    1,117 acres

Siskiyou Mountains Ranger District      6,791 acres

To stay current on burning activities, visit the RRSNF and the Rogue Valley Interagency Communication Center website https://orrvc.org/rxfire.shtml which is updated every morning. The public is also encouraged to monitor the RRSNF Facebook and Twitter accounts for the latest information and updates.

How do agencies conduct prescribed burns?  Prescribed burn operations are planned with required safety precautions in place. Burns are ignited by qualified fire personnel during carefully timed and monitored weather conditions.  A burn plan and “prescription” identifies the conditions which allow low-intensity fire to consume piles or ground-level fuels while protecting larger trees and soils. As much as possible, fire managers select weather conditions that send smoke away from nearby communities. After the burn is conducted, regular patrols check on the project area to ensure the burn is staying within the containment lines.

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