MEDFORD, Ore. — If all goes according to plan, Southern Oregon residents will see smoke rising in the distance starting today. These will not be wildfires, however, but prescribed fires—controlled burns meant to consume dead foliage that could become dangerous fuel for a real wildfire.
Fires at the northern end of the Rogue and Applegate Valleys will begin on Monday, April 23, according to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The BLM administers these lands. The prescribed fire locations are:
- Near Cantrall Buckley Park in Jackson County. Smoke will be visible from Highway 238, and the communities of Ruch and Applegate.
- The upper end of Thompson Creek, where it intersects Ninemile Creek. Expect 2-3 days of burning and smoke production with several days of mop-up and patrolling to follow. Smoke may be visible from the Applegate Valley and possibly Medford, Phoenix, Talent, and Ashland.
- Three units above Upper Applegate road east of Star Ranger Station. Smoke will be visible from the Applegate Valley.
- Trail Creek near Shady Cove. Smoke will be visible from the north end of the Rogue Valley.
Far to the east, the South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership (SCOFMP) will be conducting several larger prescribed fires:
- On Tuesday, April 24, near the Lakeview Ranger District, SCOFMP will be managing the West Drews prescribed fire. This burn is planned for about 1,000 acres, and will be located about six miles west of Drews Reservoir. Smoke may be visible in the area.
- On Wednesday, April 25, near the Bly Ranger District, SCOFMP will be managing the West Spodue prescribed fire. This burn is planned for about 1,100 acres, and will be located about five miles west of Bly. The smoke will likely be visible in Bly and Beatty.