Fire group implement new strategy to prepare for fire season

ASHLAND, Ore. — With fire season less than two months away, fire agencies are working to reduce the risk to your home this summer.

From last fall until Thursday, the Ashland Forest Resiliency Stewardship Project has conducted controlled burns on 2,000 acres from south of Ashland to Talent.

“We definitely did more,” program director with Lomakatsi, Shane Jimerfield said. “We were able to work with the state a little bit better this year with the changes in the rules, we got a little bit more burning done.”

Jimerfield said about 1,000 acres were on federal land and the other 1,000 was on private properties.

Now that spring is here and the weather’s warming up, it’s preparing to start underburning.

“That’s where it’s not hand piles but it’s going in and burning the understory, the finer fuels on the ground,” Jimerfield said.

The group hopes to burn 1,000 acres in the coming weeks and like controlled burns, it’s weather dependent.

“It will be constant contact with the state agency for smoke clearance, making sure to the largest degree we can, we minimize smoke impacts to the community but also maximizing the amount of burning we can get done,” he said.

“We’re trying to make the forest resilient again so that when fire does return, it’s less severe.”

Rogue River Siskiyou National Forest said they are conducting meetings with other local fire agencies to strategize plans leading up to fire season.

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