EUGENE, Ore. — Fire crews will be setting fire to the west Eugene wetlands this week for a controlled ecological burn. However, they need to wait for a day when weather conditions are just right so that nearby homes won’t be endangered.
The Bureau of Land Management says burns like this one improve the habitat for threatened and endangered species by stimulating germination. They also reduce hazardous fuels in the area, protecting the community from extreme fires.
The exact date and time that the burn takes place will depend on the wind direction. Ideally, the BLM would like the burn to take place during a time when there are easterly winds to blow the smoke away from the city. Right now, the BLM is predicting that the most favorable winds will be on Tuesday or Wednesday. The burning will be done between the late morning and the early afternoon, no later than 4 p.m.
To keep the flames under control, firefighters will set a fire that burns against the wind and they’ll burn out a safe zone first. That way, when they ignite the prescribed area, the flames won’t jump to nearby homes. This is considered the safest technique for controlled burns.