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Prescribed burning to begin on Tiller Ranger District

Piles of slash are ready to light as soon as conditions are right for burning; location is in the Cow Creek community area in southern Douglas County. (Courtesy Sarah Billings, USDA Forest Service)

TILLER, Ore. -- Tiller Ranger District is preparing for its fall prescribed burns which may continue through December. Burning is scheduled to begin November 1, depending on weather.

District fire personnel will be burning brush piles throughout the district to reduce hazardous fuels, minimize the spread of pest insects and disease, and recycle nutrients back to the soil. Burning also removes unwanted species that threaten species native to the ecosystem, provides forage for wildlife, promotes the growth of trees, wildflowers, and other plants, and improves habitat for wildlife species.

Pile burning is planned for 650 acres of roadside shaded fuel break in the Cow Creek area and 142 acres of piles created by pre-commercial thinning in the Elk Creek project area. Crews, along with Wolf Creek Job Corps students, will also light 110 piles created during fires in 2017 as part of the Falcon complex and piles created on 72 acres involved in the Whiskey Fire Salvage area. They intend to burn a few piles in the Stouts fire area.

“Working with the Job Corps has provided work experience for the students and has been a benefit to our fire suppression program, so we’d like to continue the relationship through the prescribed fire season,” said Lindsey Negherbon, Fuels Technician for the Umpqua National Forest.

Negherbon added that they won’t be burning piles that have salvageable firewood in them, which is often a concern from the public, and no fall under burns are planned.

Prescribed burn operations will be initiated as weather patterns shift to cooler temperatures and wetter conditions. Wind speed and direction, temperature, relative humidity and measurable moisture in vegetation are all taken into consideration. Public notice of specific burn times may only come 24 hours in advance, and oftentimes, the morning of the burn as prescribed burning is dependent upon weather conditions.

For more information about the Umpqua National Forest, contact 541-957-3200 or visit www.fs.usday.gov/umpqua or Umpqua NF on Facebook.

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