ODF awards National Forest $100,000 to help reduce wildfire risk in Medford’s watershed

JACKSON CO., Ore. – Fire season may be months away, but ODF and the Medford Water Commission are already preparing and working to keep one high-priority area safe.

ODF is giving $100,000 in grant money to the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. The money will go toward forest restoration work. It will help reduce fire risk near Big Butte Springs Watershed the main water supply source for Medford.

“Oregon Department of Forestry is a is an essential partner for water quality as well, they help protect the entire watershed from fire,” said Craig Harper, Medford Water Commission.

During the 2020 fires, Harper said the South Obenchain Fire came within 3 miles of the Big Butte Springs Watershed. While he’s not sure exactly what would have happened if the area near the water supply burned it could have led to a temporary shut off of the water supply. That’s why he said it’s important to mitigate any fire hazards before fire season.

NBC5 News reporter Katie Streit comes from her hometown, Las Vegas. Katie went to the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, Katie won a Student Emmy for her coverage of the Las Vegas Shooting Anniversary. She also hosted and produced the university's political news show, where she interviewed Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-1). Her passion for politics turned into a coveted internship at the US Capitol in Washington D.C. In her final months working in the Las Vegas area, she was recognized for her journalism achievements by the Nevada Broadcaster's Foundation. Katie is excited to tell the stories of local Southern Oregonians and Northern Californians. Feel free to contact her at [email protected]
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