2023 RBTREX continues with participation from two inter-tribal crews

May 1, 2023News from Our Partners

Last week was a big success for the Rogue Basin Prescribed Fire Exchange (RBTREX), as 12 local TREX participants joined the Rogue River Siskiyou National Forest (RRSNF) in implementing prescribed understory burns in the Ashland Watershed. Six tribal members from the Cultural Fire Management Council, five inter-tribal members from Lomakatsi Restoration Project, and a staff member of KS Wild all gained hands-on experience wielding drip torches to carefully apply controlled underburning. Several participants were new trainees working with leadership provided by RRSNF fire management personnel. RBTREX is honored to play a role in supporting indigenous fire practitioners in reintroducing good fire to the landscape.

The partners with Ashland Forest Resiliency Stewardship Project have conducted over a decade of forest thinning and fuels reduction to set the stage for the return of beneficial fire. In total, some 13,000 acres are ready for underburning. The RBTREX training focused on returning understory prescribed fire for a second-time entry as an “ecological maintenance burn.”

Carefully applying fire over multiple acres within containment lines is the most cost-effective and ecologically-beneficial method of maintaining forest resilience in our local forests that have been shaped by regular fire—including from indigenous burning—for millennia. 

Lomakatsi tribal crew gains experience, help returns good fire through RBTREX
Rogue Basin Prescribed Fire Training Exchange TREX logo

RBTREX, which is supported by Rogue Forest Partners, is a collaboration between local agencies, non-profits, and community organizations dedicated to advancing local capacity for utilizing prescribed fire in ecological restoration through hands-on training opportunities. RBTREX is coordinated by The Nature Conservancy in Oregon with funding from The Fire Learning Network and operated through cooperative agreements between TNC and US Forest Service.

The RBTREX roster of qualified participants seeking live fire training has grown to 40+ in number. We anticipate further opportunities for participants to gain experience on federal prescribed burns with the RRSNF and Bureau of Land Management Medford District over the coming weeks.

We are grateful to the skilled RRSNF fire management program for their leadership and support in integrating good fire training for the participants of RBTREX.