Smoke season not over yet

MEDFORD, Ore. — Fire season is starting to wind down but that doesn’t mean we won’t see more smoke in some areas.

As we transition into fall with cooler temperatures and high humidity levels, officials say it’s the time to start prescribed burning.

Prescribed burning are controlled burns that are set by firefighters to help get rid of extra fuels in the forest. The goal of this is to help prevent future wildfires and extreme amounts of smoke.

“Prescribed burning has never been popular with the public but I think after some of the more recent fire seasons, we’re seeing how important it is for us to do this work in the shoulder seasons so we can lessen the amount of fuels that are out there to burn when wildfire season comes,” Virginia Gibbons, Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, said.

The prescribed burns will go on in Gold Beach, Ashland and the Upper Applegate are among other locations.

Gibbons says there hasn’t been a date set for when the burns will begin. They have to wait to get clearance from the DEQ before they can start.

There is a chance for smoke to be created however, it won’t be close to the amount of smoke seen this summer. The prescribed burns could take anywhere from one day to a few days to complete.


Blakely McHugh is a weather forecaster and reporter for NBC5 News. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Blakely is a native of San Diego, CA.

Blakely is excited to be in southern Oregon, a place that gets all the seasons and has similar temperatures to Arizona in the summer! When she’s not at work, you can find her relaxing at home watching TV and cuddling with her cat, Dallas. She also enjoys trying new places to eat and exploring the outdoors.

Blakely loves meeting new people so if you see her out and about, say “Hi!”

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