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Prescribed burns to begin in Willamette National Forest


September 18, 2019

The Willamette National Forest is preparing for its fall prescribed burns which may continue until late November.

Pile burning will be scattered throughout the national forest, while meadow burning and underburning will be conducted in a number of locations, locally on Camas Prairie at the junction of Hwy 20 and the Moose Mountain Road.

Hazard and safety assessments are made during the planning of each burn. All neighbors are considered during this time.

Burning began Friday, Sept. 13, and will continue for the next several weeks, as conditions allow. 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.

“Prescribed burning is dependent upon weather conditions,” said Willamette National Forest Assistant Fire Management Officer Dirk Rogers. “Public notice of specific burn times may only come 24 hours in advance and often times the morning of the burn.”

This fall, 62 acres of meadow restoration, 470 acres of underburning, and approximately 1,800 acres of pile burning are planned across the Forest.

Travelers on forest roads may experience an increased amount of traffic. Fire personnel will be driving these roads frequently to carry water to the burns and to check the status of the burns.

Prescribed burning reduces hazardous fuels which protects human communities from extreme fires; minimizes the spread of pest insects and disease; removes unwanted species that threaten species native to an ecosystem; provides forage for game; improves habitat for threatened and endangered species; recycles nutrients back to the soil; and promotes the growth of trees, wildflowers, and other plants.

In preparation for the burns, crews are building and clearing fire lines, laying out fire hose around the units and checking fuel moistures and weather forecasts regularly for a window of opportunity. Fire crews ignite the specific burn areas once the temperature, humidity, wind and fuel moistures align. One group of firefighters will light the unit in a strategic pattern determined by slope and wind direction. Another group patrols the fire line on foot and sprays down fuels outside the unit with water to ensure the fire stays contained within the burn area.

Crews will spend up to a week ensuring no hot spots remain after the smoke clears.

Find prescribed fire updates at//, and Twitter and Facebook @willamettenf.


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