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Ashland Forest Resiliency Fall Burn Season Beginning

Forest Crew
        Fire Crew Prepares for a Pile Burn 
All of us, including the forest, have given a collective sigh of relief – cooler temperatures, rain and snow are here! Recent changes in weather conditions are making the ground ready for controlled burning operations. This burn season comes on the heels of another active wildfire season. Warm, summer-like temperatures well into the fall months made forests drier, pushing out the burning season. Like many of you, we feel a sense of urgency and plan to take a measured approach to prescribed burning with an emphasis on reducing fuels to protect our community from wildfire using planned controlled burns. 

“Our prescribed burning program allows the Forest Service to reduce fuels on the forest floor that feed wildfires and protect the communities in SW OR, including Ashland,” said Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Supervisor Merv George Jr. “By reducing fuels, we are working to also reduce the amount of smoke to 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 while protecting our beautiful forest. By putting good fire on the landscape when the weather cools, we achieve both.”

Forest science experts agree; intense drought and hotter, drier forest conditions require that our full attention is squarely placed on overly dense forests, which are not adapted to how quickly the climate is changing. Our climate crisis fortunately has a solution: More good fire!

The First Stewards of the land already had this knowledge of fire and have passed it along generation by generation since time immemorial into the present day. Today, Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge is being interwoven with Western science as part of the Ashland Forest Resiliency project’s goal to use more prescribed fire, in more locations, and at the right time.

An analysis of AFR’s completed work by Oregon State University Senior Researcher and Professor Chris Dunn found that locations with ecological thinning, pile burning, and then low-intensity underburning showed the greatest reduction of fire hazard. The result: Future wildfire is likely to burn more mildly, fire fighters have a better, safer opportunity for control, and our community and nature are more secure.
Our primary objective when using prescribed fire is the safety and well-being of the community and fire crews. Learn more about AFR’s proactive fire planning.

Please sign up for our non-emergency burn alerts, particularly for smoke sensitive people who need to take precautions. 

Non-emergency Controlled Burn Text Messages
  • For burn day text notifications, text the word "WATERSHED" in the message line to 888777 as the recipient. You will get an auto-confirmation text when you sign-up.
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