Published May 26, 2022

Lomakatsi contracted a highly trained crew from Grayback Forestry, Inc., with support from our operations team, to carefully implement controlled underburning on approximately 75 acres of private land under desirable conditions this week, as part of the The Ashland Forest Resiliency Stewardship Project. The burn area, located along a strategic ridgeline in the foothills between Ashland and Talent, connects multiple areas previously treated with ecological thinning and prescribed fire to maximize ecological benefit, improve wildlife habitat, reduce wildfire risk, and allow firefighters to work more safely and effectively during a summer wildfire.

Fire operations leadership from Grayback, Ashland Fire & Rescue and Lomakatsi carefully monitored conditions for weeks, and after postponing operations last week due to high moisture, the team took advantage of ideal conditions this Monday through Wednesday.
Each morning, small test fires were lit to confirm desired fire behavior in the burn unit, and operations proceeded with ample water, firefighters, and engines at the ready. Additional crews and engines were available if needed. The operation included 23 personnel, with extras added daily to ensure quick mop-up. The controlled burn achieved the desired low, slow creeping flame behavior, with smoke dispersing high and to the south. Crews remain on site through the weekend to patrol the unit for hotspots.

We are grateful for the capacity and expertise of our partners at Grayback Forestry to safely put mild fire on the ground, as we work to restore fire adapted ecosystems, while increasing community wildfire safety in tactical locations on the landscape. This wraps up the last prescribed fire treatment of the season—we look forward to working together with our many partners to accomplish more good work in the fall.

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