MEDFORD, Ore. – The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest was given $802,000 to reduce fuel for potential wildfires in southwest Oregon.
The Supplemental Fuels funding will pay for work being done to reinstate forest resiliency and health in the Wild Rivers Ranger District, the Siskiyou Mountains Ranger District, the Gold Beach Ranger District and the Powers Ranger District.
“The funding will be used to continue important fuels reduction work in the areas around the communities adjacent to the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest,” said RRSNF Forest Supervisor Merv George, Jr., “work that contributes to community safety, forest health, and local economies.”
RRSNF provided the following highlights of planned work:
- Continuation of fuels reduction work outside of Grants Pass, Oregon, in the Waters Creek area. Work will focus on treating approximately 450 acres of hazardous fuels in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) behind private land in the Waters Creek, Slate Creek, and Dutcher Creek areas along the Highway 199 corridor.
- In the spirit of All Hands, All Lands approach to land management, Oregon Department of Forestry is working with private landowners in the area, as well, to reduce fuels on the nearby privately-owned lands, and the Medford District of the Bureau of Land Management has completed work on adjacent lands that it manages.“By working together to link up treated areas, it will give firefighters a safe and effective area to stop a wildfire,” says Wild Rivers District Ranger Matt Paciorek.
- The Agness Fuels Reduction Project will treat approximately 100 acres with thinning and piling, with work scheduled to begin sometime after September. The intent is to create defensible space by reducing fuels and fuel loading along roads and ridgelines to create Fuel Management Zones (FMZs) around the community of Agness. FMZs are used to suppress wildfires and to ignite and hold prescribed fires, thus reducing the risk to nearby communities from high-intensity fires. These treatments will help create and maintain vegetative conditions that resist and are resilient in the face of disturbance, with the focus on fire, insects, and disease.
- The Ashland Forest Resiliency Stewardship Project (AFR) received $250,000 to continue with ongoing treatments. The funding will go to treating approximately 200 acres, plus project support. To date, over 6,500 acres of landscape-scale fuels reduction and forest restoration has been completed on the initial 7,600-acre target footprint. The initial target treatment acreage is estimated to be fully completed in 2019 with the exception of maintenance work.
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