Southern Oregonians for Clean Skies trying to find hope for air quality in the future

MEDFORD, Ore. — The Southern Oregonians for Clear Skies held a meeting today to discuss what they can do to try to prevent massive wildfires in from happening in the future. Their goal is to not only stop the spread of fires, but mainly eliminating the amount of smoke there is in the air.

Western Oregon Field forester, Andy Geissler, joined the group to share with them his perspective on being a forester. He explains that there are a lot of behind the scenes work that has to be done in forests before they can introduce burning tactics.

The group was also joined by Grants Pass Senator Herman Baertschiger who provided a political stance.

The senator has worked in wild-land fires for 40 years and recently visited the Klondike and Taylor Creek fires.

“I ran through that and I’ve seen they’re doing some marvelous burning, they’re doing some fantastic treatments in the forest right now except for one thing, it’s at the expense of our citizens,” Sen. Baertschiger said.

That’s why the group of business leaders has come together to form a group. The Southern Oregonians for Clean Skies wants the ‘treatments’, or controlled burning, to happen long before the fire season.

“We’re all just asking how is this going to change,” one of the members of the group asked.

Forester, Andy Geissler, says the work needed to prevent massive summer wildfires needs to be done earlier than during fire season.

“Our focus is more on getting out ahead, doing these fuels treatments ahead of time so that when the fires do start they at least have a chance to stop them,” Geissler said.


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