wildfire

inciweb.nwcg.gov

Please see our Oregon Wildfire Roundup post for the latest updates on this fire ...

UPDATE: WEDNESDAY, AUG. 23 ... In the High Cascades Complex, fire growth was seen on Blanket Creek Fire, crossing the Pacific Crest Trail in the Sky Lakes Wilderness south of Crater Lake National Park. The weather pattern is preventing smoke from dispersing which has resulted in multiple days of very unhealthy conditions for several locations.

Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest

Smoke has been a more regular feature of the region's skies of late. 

Up until the beginning of August, the fire season did not feature the huge outbreaks of fires of recent years.  But it may just be a matter of time. 

Whatever happens,  crews and equipment from Oregon Department of Forestry and other agencies are ready for lightning or human-caused fires, or whatever comes their way. 

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Anyone with concerns about wildfires might be heartened to hear that there are fewer of them worldwide. 

NASA satellite images show a decline in fires over the last two decades. 

Which sounds like a good thing, until you remember that fires are necessary to thriving ecosystems, and fewer fires often means more human development. 

A profession as dangerous as smokejumping--parachuting into remote areas to fight fires--is bound to suffer a few casualties. 

Malvin Brown was the first man on record to die as a smokejumper; he died in training near Roseburg in 1945. 

Brown was a member of the 555th Parachute Infantry Unit in World War II, composed of all African-Americans.  He and other jumpers will be memorialized in a plaque at the Siskiyou Smokejumper Base Museum near Cave Junction in early June. 

Nature Conservancy

Think of TEK as a combination of the very old and the very new. 

It's an acronym for Traditional Ecological Knowledge, like the knowledge of land management gained by indigenous people over thousands of years.  TEK practices are still very much valid today, including in fire management. 

Margo Robbins is a member of the Cultural Fire Management Council of the Yurok Tribe, and she joins other fire managers at this week's Klamath Fire Ecology Symposium

Study Shows Humans Cause Most Wildfires

Mar 3, 2017
PNAS

Every summer, we listen for the most basic facts about any wildfire: human- or lightning-caused? 

Human-caused does not necessarily mean deliberate; it just means the activities of people started the fire. 

And a new scientific study shows that humans have it all over lightning as starters of wildfire: 84 percent of wildfires trace back to human causes. 

Jennifer Balch at the University of Colorado is the lead author of the study. 

Hot Fires Hammer Conifers

Jan 13, 2017
ODF

Ideally, an area burned in a forest fire can be left alone, and the forest will regenerate naturally. 

But not all fires create ideal situations.  In fact, the large, hot fires of California appear to stall the regeneration of conifer forests. 

That's the finding of a joint study of the US Forest Service and the plant sciences department at the University of California-Davis. 

If conifers do not grow back naturally, how should humans help? 

Why Tasty Mushrooms Seem To Like Fires

Oct 31, 2016
Kadoka1/Wikimedia

Wild mushrooms are mysterious lifeforms. 

For instance: we still don't know WHY morel mushrooms bloom after a wildfire. What we do know is that morels pack a delicious punch.

They're a distinctive species, popular with foragers, foodies, and with Dr. C. Alina Cansler, a research ecologist at The University of Washington.

Dr. Cansler co-authored a study of morels published last month in Forest Ecology and Managment.

Women On The Fire Line

Oct 31, 2016
Northern California Prescribed Fire Council

This has been the year of the TREX on The Exchange. 

We just learned a few months ago about wildland firefighters gathering for training exchanges, which they abbreviate TREX.  Unfortunately, it's pronounced "treks" and not "t-rex". 

Anyway, we get to add a W, to make WTREX, because there are training exchanges for women.  The very first WTREX just wrapped up in Northern California, after giving women firefighters and managers a chance to sharpen skills and compare notes. 

The University of California and The Nature Conservancy were among many partners in this TREX. 

Fire Training In The Fire-Prone Klamath

Oct 11, 2016
Rick Bowmer/AP

Even in relatively quiet fire seasons like the one just past, you can count on the Klamath National Forest for at least a couple of tough fires. 

Rugged terrain and hot, dry summers make the Klamath River country highly prone to wildfire.  So it should come as no suprise to find people training there now, with an emphasis on prescribed fire. 

A TREX--Training Exchange--is currently underway, with a focus on protecting communities from wildfire. 

Dealing With And Preventing Megafires

Sep 9, 2016
Heather Franklin / via Facebook

It is one of the great fears of our time and place: that a huge fire will blow through our community, destroying our homes. 

It has even come true, sadly, in Weed and other towns.  Can we prevent huge and destructive "megafires"? 

Paul Hessburg, who works for the Forest Service and the University of Washington, thinks so.  He is the presenter of a traveling multimedia exhibit called "Era of Megafires" now visiting towns in the West. 

Lane Fire Alderwood Station 114 via Facebook

UPDATE MONDAY, AUGUST 29, 8:00 a.m.

The crews have made tremendous progress in mopping up this fire. They have spent the last several days working to extinguish all smokes around the rim of the fire. In most places crews have a 200 feet zone and are working towards 400 feet.

 

BLM Resources Advisors are finalizing plans to repair the federal lands affected by this fire. This includes pull back of any dozers berms and installing water bars to direct water off skid trails to prevent sediment delivery into streams. 

 

ODF

Life returned to normal in areas around the Redwood Highway Fire on Saturday. 

By evening, firefighters had the fire nearly contained, and evacuation orders were being relaxed.

ODF

Saturday, 8:30 AM: Three homes and at least five outbuildings destroyed by the fire.  The fire itself at 85 percent containment, kept to roughly 50 acres.  One spot fire extinguished downwind from main fire.  Deer Creek Road still closed, evacuations and road closures to be evaluated later in the day.

Wildfire Planning From The Air

Jul 5, 2016

The pointer recently moved another click to the right: fire danger is now High in much of the region. 

It is now a question of when, not if, firefighters get busy keeping wildfires from growing out of control. 

The strategy involves heavy use of aircraft these days. 

The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and Oregon Department of Forestry are among the agencies and jurisdictions that keep firefighters on standby for the ground and the air. 

The Guy Who Knows Fire

Jun 21, 2016

Where there's smoke, there's fire.  Where there's fire, there's Stephen Pyne

He may be the foremost authority on wildfire on the continent, with more than a dozen books to his credit.  They include a work called Between Two Fires, detailing the tug-of-war between all-out fire suppression and the deliberate use of fire to help maintain a forest. 

And he visits an area that is no stranger to wildfires--ours--with an Ashland appearance tonight (June 22). 

Joshua Veal / USFS

During the summer of 2014, wildfires burned more than 200,000 acres of the Klamath National Forest in northern California’s Siskiyou County.

Last year, the US Forest Service proposed a program of salvage logging, replanting and hazardous tree removal. That plan faced opposition from environmental groups and the Karuk Indian tribe.

Now, a modified version of the plan has been approved, and was immediately met with a challenge in federal court.

Fire Recovery Plans Finalized On Klamath NF

Mar 7, 2016
Worldview-3

Fires roared through several parts of the Klamath National Forest in the summer of 2014, and now forest leaders have an official plan to clean up after them. 

The Westside Fire Recovery Project is now officially in motion, a plan to salvage some timber and treat other areas, even burn some of them. 

Controversy followed the plan as it took shape, and stays with it today.  It is already being taken to court.

We spend the hour talking in turn with several people interested in the outcome, including forest managers, the American Forest Resource Council, the Karuk Tribe, and KS Wild

Weed Embarks On "Resilience Weed" Effort

Jan 1, 2016
Courtesy of Cal Fire

You can be prepared, but few people can claim to be READY for a disaster. 

Disaster struck the city of Weed more than a year ago, in the form of a fire that burned 150 homes. 

Now the city is embarking on the Resilience Weed project, designed to get the town and its residents better prepared for similar or other disasters in the future. 

Lesley McClurg/CPR

The recent Valley Fire, north of Napa, scorched more than 75,000 acres and destroyed nearly 1,300 homes. Thousands of people were displaced. Imagine if you were one of them, you lost everything but were scared to ask for help. 

That’s the reality for many undocumented families in the area.

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