Firefighters say fuel reduction plan helped save Gerber Recreation Area

Gerber Flat Fire 6/27/17 (Photo: Larisa Bogardus/BLM)

Klamath County, Ore. – Firefighters are crediting forest management–along with a quick response–for the suppression of a lightning-caused fire in eastern Klamath County.

The South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership (SCOFMP) said in the early 2000s, the Bureau of Land Management implemented a fuel treatment program for the Gerber Recreation Area.

The plan included the controlled burning of undergrowth, juniper removal and commercial logging.

As a result, SCOFMP said the recent Gerber Flat Fire stayed low to the ground instead of climbing so-called “ladder” fuels into the wooded area’s canopy.

“This shows how a wildland fire under the right conditions in the right areas can beneficially perform its natural role across the landscape for resource benefit.,” said Justin Pyle, a BLM fuels specialist who wrote the original management plan. “Active fuels management in this area helped facilitate safe and efficient suppression efforts.”

The Gerber Flat Fire burned 194 acres. Fire crews continue to work to reinforce fire-lines.

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