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Oakridge/Westfir Prescribed Burn

Unit Information

Willamette National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
Oregon
Springfield, OR 97477

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This incident is no longer being updated.

BACKGROUND

Forests in the project area were shaped by the 1910 Dead Mountain Fire (Flat Creek and Dead Mountain area) or from logging that occurred in the 1920s and 1930s (North Fork of the Middle Fork Willamette River area). Most of these forests are now made up of densely stocked Douglas fir and other species ranging in age from 80 to 120 years. In most of the project area, the tops of trees are touching, or close to touching each other, thus increasing the risk of large, wind-driven crown fi res. In only the last 25 years, we have experienced nine larger fires within ten miles of Oakridge and Westfir, as well as many smaller fires.

WHAT WILL BE DONE

To reduce the wildfire risk, two main activities are taking place. One is the thinning of forests that border these communities. This work will be accomplished by helicopter, cable and ground-based yarding. Log trucks will be used to transport the commercial logs to local mills. The second activity is prescribed fi re to burn away the unmerchantable debris and wood left after logging activity is completed (otherwise known as fuels reduction.) As a citizen, you can also take actions to help reduce the risk of wildfires in the area. Working with state and local officials, you can help make your property a defensible space. Contact Oregon Department of Forestry for more information.

HOW IT WORKS

This project reduces the risk of catastrophic wildfires by reducing the density of trees in the forest, so that when a fire does occur, there is less wood, leaves and debris to burn. Spacing between trees will also be increased, which means it is less likely for a fi re to move through the tree canopy – where it is extremely difficult to stop. The prescribed burns clean up the tops of trees, shrubs and other material that was not removed by logging. Other work includes cutting and removing trees under seven inches in diameter to take away the ‘ladder’ fuels a fire uses to climb into the canopy. What is left behind is a more open forest.

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypePrescribed Fire
Coordinates43.75 latitude, -122.435 longitude

Current Situation

Size150 Acres

Outlook

Projected Incident Activity

We project several prescribed burns will take place between May 1 and June 30th

Recent Articles

June 8th update News - 6/8/2018
June 6th update News - 6/6/2018
May 29th update News - 5/29/2018
May 22nd Update News - 5/22/2018