Elk NetworkOregon Controlled Burns Address Wildfire Risk, Wildlife Habitat

General | April 15, 2021

Seeking to reduce the possibility of catastrophic wildfire, the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) plans a series of prescribed burns across several counties in the northeast part of the state. ODF will use grant funding from the Oregon Legislative Emergency Board in combination with cooperation from other partners, including the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

“The funds from the Emergency Board provide the state with an incredible opportunity to bring together public and private groups to complete some critical fuels mitigation work in advance of the 2021 fire season,” Peter Daugherty, Oregon state forester, told the Capital Press. “This is shared stewardship in action. When we work together, we can treat more acres across ownership boundaries and have a greater impact on fire resiliency in communities and forests throughout the state.”

In addition to improving overall forest health, prescribed burns enhance habitat for elk and other wildlife.

Oregon’s 2020 wildfires scorched more than 1,000,000 acres, killed at least 11 people, triggered evacuations and destroyed thousands of homes. Catastrophic fires also decimate soil structure, preventing regrowth and the reproduction of native grass and other vegetation.

(Photo source:  Eric Knapp/U.S. Forest Service)