Ashland Forest Resiliency 2021-2022 Controlled Burn Season Summary
The Ashland Forest Resiliency Project (AFR) has wrapped up another successful controlled burn season. We finished critical pile burns in the Ashland watershed and close to the community, and our first fall and winter underburns in December and February for a combined total of 1,374 burn acres completed since October. That’s a lot less fuel for summer wildfires! Now that summer wildfire season has begun, report smoke to 911.
Burning piles during wet weather (example photo below) was productive this season – we have fewer burn piles remaining than any other year going into fire season. Just 352 acres remain, compared to over 2,000 acres in many past years. By ownership, 870 acres of pile burning was completed on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, 167 acres on City of Ashland and Ashland Parks Commission forestlands, and 139 acres on private land for a season total of 1,176 pile burn acres...truly an all-lands effort and setting the stage for more underburning.
Our expert fire teams also carefully managed 123 acres of underburning on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and another 75 acres on private land for a season total of 198 acres of “good fire”. Underburns create the most effective fire suppression opportunities in strategic areas next to town and in the watershed. They are the critical final step in the ecological restoration process for maintaining our fire-adapted landscapes and safety for the community. The photo below shows underburning in progress.
Our burning incorporates proactive fire planning to maximize firefighter safety and wildfire suppression opportunities. If you want to know more about AFR, our history and the work we do, AFR was featured in the Christian Science Monitor and Grist within the past year.
The City of Ashland, Nature Conservancy, Rogue-River Siskiyou National Forest and Lomakatsi Restoration Project want to honor and thank all the prescribed fire professionals and forest workers who helped make this controlled burn season a success.
Thank you for your commitment to safety and our community’s well-being!