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.