The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest is preparing to begin its annual fall prescribed burning program with burn projects expected to begin early next week, depending upon local weather conditions. The forest has a total of 12,500 acres of burning scheduled now through spring of 2011, with the great majority consisting of hand pile burning (11,000 acres) and a much smaller component of under burning (1,500 acres). By comparison, last year, the forest completed approximately 2,200 acres of pile burning and approximately 400 acres of under burning.
The large number of hand piles generated this year are primarily the result of numerous Recovery-funded hazardous fuels reduction projects. During the past two years, a total of 53 contracts have completed fuels treatment work consisting of thinning, brushing and piling in a variety of locations across the forest. Contractors will now continue their work by burning the hand piles created by their previous efforts.
“The Rogue River-Siskiyou has been extremely fortunate in having received $26 million, the greatest amount of Recovery dollars received in the Pacific Northwest Region of the Forest Service in order to accomplish fuels reduction work,” said Fire Staff Officer MJ Harvie. “The Recovery funding provided us with a unique opportunity to complete some greatly needed work in key areas previously identified in the Community Wildfire Protection Plans for Jackson, Josephine, Coos and Curry counties,” added Harvie.
Burning acreages planned for the Fall 2010/Spring 2011 by Ranger District is identified below. Please contact the front desk at each district for specific burn unit locations, and for more current information on when burns will take place.
Wild Rivers Ranger District -6,000 acres of Recovery-funded hand piles planned to be burned by the following contractors: GE Forestry, Pine West, J Raymond Forestry, Lomakatsi Restoration, Grayback Forestry, Pacific Coast Contracting, Summitt Forestry, Ponderosa Reforestation and 3B’s Forestry. For additional information, contact the Wild Rivers RD in Grants Pass at (541) 471-6500 or in Cave Junction at (541) 592-4000.
Siskiyou Mountains Ranger District– 4,000 acres of hand piles (3,000 acres of Recovery-funded hand piles); all burning to be completed by Grayback Forestry. For additional information, contact the Siskiyou Mountains RD at Star Ranger Station at (541) 899-3800 or at Ashland Ranger Station at (541) 552-2900.
High Cascades Ranger District – 500 acres of Recovery-funded hand piles to be burned by Eagle Pass Reforestation Inc. and Grayback Forestry, and 1,500 acres of under burning by Grayback. For additional information, contact the High Cascades RD in Prospect at (541) 560-3400 or in Butte Falls at (541) 865-2700.
Powers Ranger District – 200 acres of Recovery-funded hand piles to be burned by Diamond Fire and the Coos Forest Protective Association. For additional information, contact Powers RD at (541) 439-6200.
Gold Beach Ranger District-300 acres of Recovery-funded hand piles to be burned by Grayback Forestry and Diamond Fire. For additional information, contact Gold Beach RD at (541) 412-6000.
Every morning during prescribed burn season, the Medford Interagency Dispatch Center updates the information recording that describes the day’s planned burns at 1-800-267-3126 or (541) 618-2354. Burn days will be determined by several factors, the primary being suitable local weather conditions, followed by clearance to burn by the State of Oregon Smoke Management Office.
The Forest Service follows all state regulations for smoke management and only initiates these burns when weather conditions are appropriate for smoke ventilation. The State Of Oregon Smoke Management office indicates suitable weather conditions for smoke dispersal.