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Helicopter Work Close to Oakridge Nearly Complete

Contact(s): Middle Fork Ranger District, 541.782.2283

Other work still remains to be done

The work to reduce the risk of wildfires around Westfir and Oakridge that began in 2014 has reached another milestone. The helicopter working east of the MacFarland Road and Brock Road has left the area and all that remains are some larger logs to remove. The amount of helicopter work left to retrieve these logs is estimated to take less than a week to complete.

However, there is still much work left to be done in the overall Oakridge/Westfir Thinning and Fuels Reduction plan. A helicopter is currently working east of the Camp Six area and is expected to continue for another month, skyline logging north of Salmon Creek Road and east of Brock Road is now underway, and prescribed burns outside of Westfir and in the unit nearest to town are slated for this spring.

Currently, active timber falling is underway off the Dead Mountain Road, prompting a temporary closure of the Dead Mountain Trail. This closure is expected to last for one to two weeks.

These activities aim to thin out trees, thus increasing the spacing between them, and burn off the understory, meaning any wildfire that occurs in the area is unlikely to become a crown fire (one moves through the tops of the trees). Crown fires are extremely difficult and dangerous for fire fighters to suppress.

“The area we are working in was once called Green Mountain, but after three severe fires, it became known as Dead Mountain, said Duane Bishop, Middle Fork District Ranger. “Our partners from the Hazeldell Fire Department, Oakridge Fire Department, City of Westfir, City of Oakridge and Oregon Department of Forestry all helped design this project, along with hundreds of local residents.”

For more information on the project, contact the Middle Fork Ranger District at 541.782.2283.