Thursday, April 7, 2016

Prescribe Burning Notice: Baker City Foothills Fuels Reduction

April 7, 2016

Prescribe Burning Notice: Baker City Foothills Fuels Reduction

The Whitman Ranger District is planning to begin implementation of prescribed burning on the Foothills Fuels Reduction Project within the next week. The Foothills Fuels Reduction project area contains approximately 2,100 acres of prescribed fire units and is located between the Baker City Watershed boundary and private land.

Smoke will be highly visible from the Baker Valley. If a burn is forecasted to produce smoke that will be a significant impact to a community or sensitive area it will rescheduled until there is a more favorable weather forecast.

Prescribed fire is a major component of the Cohesive Wildfire Strategy to meet the goals of restoring and maintaining resilient landscapes and creating fire adapted communities. Prescribed burning is done to reduce dead and down fuels, selectively thin understory trees in dense forested stands, stimulate fire tolerant plant species, enhance forage and browse, reduce the risk of large stand-replacement fires, create strategic fuels breaks in the urban interface, and restore fire under controlled conditions as a disturbance factor in these landscapes. Burning of these units will reduce the threat form high severity high intensity wildfire to both the municipal watershed and nearby private land.

Burning is part of the series of fuel reduction treatments intended to decrease the damage done by wildfires, including reducing the amount of smoke that typically impacts communities during the fire season. The intent is to keep smoke out of populated areas.  Burning under controlled conditions reduces surface and ladder fuels setting the stage to limit future high intensity unplanned fires and the smoke that they would produce. Many areas are burned on 10 to 15 year rotations to limit fuels accumulations and enhance forage and browse important to wildlife.

For questions concerning the prescribe burning please contact: (541)523-6391.

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