March 27, 2006
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The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Forest Service are set to burn almost 7,500 acres under their spring prescribed burn plan. The prescribed burns are being used to treat ground fuels and reduce the risk of wild fire in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National forest, a high fire risk area in southern Oregon.
Springtime lends itself to ideal conditions for prescribed burns, with cool temperatures and high moisture content in the fuel on the forest floor.
These factors allow for safe and successful burning operations [which are] used to reduce the risk of wildfire in and around communities and neighborhood homes, as well as protecting natural resources.
Patty Burel is with the Forest Service. “What it will do is that the burn will run through in a very manageable low fire way and creep through that area allowing it to be cleansed on the forest floor and then what happens is that when wildfires might hit near that area it becomes a place where it stops the wildfire.”
With the memories of recent wildfires such as the Biscuit and Blossom fires still lingering, the BLM and Forest Service say prescribed burns will reduce the potential for large high intensity wildfires that may threaten Wildland Urban Interface Areas that make up over one-half of public lands or 500,000 acres.
Burel says, “Here in southwest Oregon with the Blossom fire last year and Biscuit fire in 2002 we're more attuned to the fact that our forest areas need to have some treatments that will help with getting a foothold on fighting fires.
Prescribed burns have some affects on people with breathing troubles due to smoke in the air, however the Forest Service and BLM follow state regulations to ensure weather conditions are ideal for smoke ventilation.
Daily updated fire information about BLM burns can be obtained by calling 800-267-3126 or 541-618-2354 and not 9-1-1 unless it is a real emergency.
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