OAKRDIGE, Ore. -- Firefighters have multiple prescribed burns planned across the Willamette National Forest this spring which could start as early as Wednesday.
Prescribed burning helps improve forest health and increase resiliency to wildfire. It involves igniting a controlled, low intensity fire. This limits fire behavior and reduces the likelihood of heavy smoke impacting nearby communities.
The benefits include reducing the severity of future wildfires near communities, increasing firefighter safety in initial and extended response, and maintaining overall healthy forests.
“We just experienced one of the worst wildfire seasons in decades in Western Oregon,” said District Ranger Molly Juillerat. “This shows how important it is to mitigate fire danger when we can and the need to prepare communities adjacent to forests for the possibility of a large fire close to town.”
The first prescribed burning will be taking place adjacent to Forest Service Road 19, just north of Oakridge. No closures are expected, but traffic in the area could experience delays.
Smoke may be visible to the north of Oakridge, but fire specialists will make every effort to avoid impacting local residents.