Forest, Fire & Smoke Management
|The 2018 Taylor Fire burned in a productive mixed severity fire mosaic in the rugged mountains west of Grants Pass, Oregon.|
Before the smoke finally cleared in the fall of 2018, political rhetoric and misinformation had spread throughout the region like a crown fire fanned by 30 MPH winds. The political firestorm was still raging as the weather shifted, and the fires smoldered themselves out in the backcountry of southern Oregon and northern California. Unfortunately, since the smoke has cleared, the misconceptions surrounding wildfire and its affect on our forests have continued to grow.
Klamath Forest Alliance has been busy exploring the fires of 2018, studying their ecology, documenting their effects and analyzing the suppression response. We have also recently worked with our partners at Applegate Neighborhood Network to prepare a detailed policy paper intended to broaden and inform the current debate around forest, fire and smoke management in southern Oregon. In this document we seek to work past the hyperbole and encourage science-based management, focused on protecting homes and communities from wildfire impacts.
Our paper documents the beneficial role of wildfire in the forests of southwestern Oregon and the ecology of smoke in our region. We provide science-based recommendations for homes, communities, and federal land managers to adapt, evolve and cope with fire and its inevitable effects. We also propose reforms to the Oregon Forest Practices Act that will encourage more fire resilient landscapes. We believe a progressive, forward looking approach to forest, fire and smoke management is appropriate and necessary. To read the entire policy paper please check out: