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Environment

Firefighters Starting Prescribed Burns Around McKenzie Bridge, Oakridge

McKenziePrescBurn02.jpg
Willamette National Forest
/
USFS

Up to 50 acres around the McKenzie Bridge area will burn this week, but forest officials say it’s both intentional and beneficial. 

Given the devastation of last year’s wildfire season, it’s understandable that the concept of burning things in one of the most affected areas seems counterintuitive.  But prescribed fires are low-intensity burns that cut slash, underbrush, and other potential fuels around homes and communities.

McKenziePrescBurn01.jpg
Credit Willamette National Forest / USFS
Firefighters with drip torches set controlled, low-intensity burns outside of McKenzie Bridge.

Joanie Schmidgall is acting public affairs officer for the US Forest Service.

“We know that the smell and the sight of smoke in the air is going to be so triggering for people this year, but in addition to McKenzie River, we are also burning just outside the town of Oakridge to just help mitigate impacts from a large wildfire should one happen again.” 

Pre-colonial Native Americans practiced controlled burns, to limit the fuel a wildfire could consume.

Copyright 2021, KLCC. 

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