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Smoky Skies Over Rogue Valley

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MEDFORD, Ore. — It might not compare to what we saw in August, but Thursday’s smoke was enough to make joggers cut their route short and limit visibility throughout the Rogue Valley.

Prescribed burns took place Thursday in both Josephine and Jackson counties on land protected by the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service. The largest project is located outside of Prospect and totals about 500 acres. In downtown Medford, some said they noticed the haze but didn’t think it could be smoke because fire season is in the rear-view mirror.

“I noticed it a little bit but I guess I didn’t put two and two together, I guess I forgot about fire season in October,” said Rogue Community College student Caitlin Lawson.

Prescribed burns aim at eliminating brush and other grounds fuels that feed wildfires. There is a tight window when the burns can be done because they depend on several factors, ranging from wind conditions to moisture of fuels.