Reducing fire risk, tree thinning happens in Ashland

ASHLAND, Ore.– Fire safety preparations have been ongoing in the City of Ashland as fire season looms ahead.

The Ashland Forest Resiliency Stewardship Project was thinning trees on private land south of Liberty Street Park on Tuesday as part of that preparation. It’s a process they’ve been conducting for the past decade.

According to Shane Jimerfield, a program director with Lomakatsi Restoration Project, the idea is to clear trees in a certain way that is ecologically friendly, enhances the habitat and reduces the risk of fires.

“It’s safer for when fire does come so that it’s less severe, improves the habitat and kind of mimics what would’ve happened on the landscape had fire played it’s natural role the last 100 years,” said Jimerfield.

Tuesday’s work was just one of many private properties the project works with to ensure the Ashland community is not threatened. Jimerfield says that in the last decade over 10,000 acres have been worked on by crews across federal and private land.

Lomakatsi says they will be having several more thinning project this year before fire season. They expect to have another four to five thousand acres worked on in the next several years.

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