STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Thinning work by logging, forest service crews helps fight fires

The regular thinning and prescribed burns of undergrowth help fire crews battle wildfires during fire season.

Posted: Aug 8, 2018 6:15 PM
Updated: Aug 8, 2018 6:38 PM

CANYONVILLE, Ore. -- Logging and forest service crews play a big role year-round when it comes to fighting wildfires.

Those crews have been cutting and burning undergrowth for decades.

Doing so gets rid of the dead and dried out plants that fuel fires.

Kyle Reed with the Douglas Forest Protective Association said the Stouts Creek Fire in 2015 was a great example of how getting rid of that undergrowth can help slow down these fires.

“We had some projects up there on the Umpqua National Forest a couple years before where we were doing thinning in different places, and we were actually able to hold the fire in those areas, where it was moving quickly in other spots,” Reed said.

He said there’s a noticeable difference between thinned and overgrown areas.

“When you get in those spots where the fuels have been thinned down, you see a dramatic decrease in fire activity in those places, generally,” Reed said.

State Representative Gary Leif visited the South Umpqua fires recently and said crews there told him it made a difference on the Snowshoe Fire as well.

RELATED: FORMER SOUTH UMPQUA COMPLEX FIRES COULD GROW WITH HOT TEMPS

“That was because in May they did these prescribed burns,” Leif said. "Any time that you can get rid of the fuel and the undergrowth, or cut the fuel out, as in thinning practices, you’re going to basically create fire resiliency.”

Ralph Huffman, co-owner of Huffman & Wright Logging, said the thinning is just part of what they do in the forests.

But he thinks everyone should be more aggressive about doing it.

“Whether it’s cutting it, increasing the thinning, they need to get more aggressive there,” Huffman said. “They need to get more aggressive with cleaning up some of the old growth, especially after a fire.”

Leif and Huffman said they believe these practices need to continue to expand to cut back on the growth and intensity of fires when they happen.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 21488

Reported Deaths: 357
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah496096
Washington311925
Marion293870
Umatilla230228
Clackamas154940
Malheur80414
Deschutes61110
Lane5903
Jackson4732
Yamhill46713
Lincoln4189
Union3942
Morrow3723
Jefferson3714
Polk31912
Linn28410
Klamath2012
Hood River1930
Wasco1923
Benton1696
Douglas1511
Josephine1152
Columbia970
Coos910
Clatsop850
Crook491
Baker400
Tillamook340
Lake320
Wallowa191
Sherman160
Curry150
Harney100
Gilliam40
Grant40
Unassigned00
Wheeler00
Eugene
Clear
51° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 51°
Corvallis
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 52°
Roseburg
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 62°
North Bend
Broken Clouds
52° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 52°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events