The Rogue Basin Prescribed Fire Training Exchange season is officially underway!
Yesterday, RBTREX participant Joseph Vaile, KS Wild’s Climate Director and qualified Firefighter Trainee 2 (a crew member), joined with fire professionals from the U.S. Forest Service- Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Siskiyou Mountains Ranger District and Grayback Forestry, Inc. to implement a 60-acre prescribed understory burn as part of The Ashland Forest Resiliency Stewardship Project.
“I learned a ton working shoulder to shoulder with the Forest Service and experienced contractors implementing much-needed underburning around large trees as maintenance for treasured dry mixed-conifer forests,” said Joseph.
This particular burn was what we call a “maintenance burn,” which means that prior prescribed burns (2018) have been conducted in that same area in the past. For that reason, the burn was easier to implement, and it generated less smoke.
Prescribed burning is not a “one & done” type of job. Just like yard maintenance, the work is continuous, but it gets easier the more you do it.
“A goal of ours is to get to the point where we’re implementing more maintenance burns than first-entry burns,” said District Fire Management Officer Rob Marshall.
Burning in this area of the Ashland Watershed is particularly effective because it’s in one of the units that are located along the boundary between the US Forest Service and private lands. As we know, wildfire knows no boundaries, and this will work today and will serve to protect the community from future wildfires.
RBTREX 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. We look forward to getting more of our participants—who represent a wide range of organizations, tribal communities, and individuals—out and applying good fire on planned prescribed burns over the coming weeks. Stay tuned for updates!