Category Archives: Fremont-Winema National Forest

Forest Service credits forest treatments for containment of Timber Crater 6 fire

A fire burns alongside a road in an area of previously thinned forest.

The Forest Service often talks about using thinning and prescribed fire for “fuels reduction” and forest restoration – but in recent years, wildfires that crossed paths with these treated areas have provided vivid demonstrations of how these treatments not only improve forest health, but also reduce the intensity and challenge of containing later wildfires, improving public safety and firefighters.

In mid-July, a lightning storm passed through southern Oregon, igniting multiple fires in the drought-stressed forest in and around Crater Lake National Park. Firefighters quickly contained most of these fires, but several grew together and became the Timber Crater 6 Fire. It was projected to grow as large as 20,000 acres. But earlier fuels treatment projects conducted in the area allowed firefighters to pursue an aggressive full-suppression strategy, which kept the fire to just 3,100 acres.

 

firefighters working among well-spaced pine trees

Thinning projects improve tree spacing and remove dead trees, while prescribed fire helps reduce ground duff and underbrush that could cause future fires to burn faster and with more intensity. Because ground plants and grasses have evolved with regular wildland fires in this region, native species often rebound quickly following low-intensity burns, while high-intensity fires may kill trees and damage surrounding soil. USDA Forest Service photo.

Over the years, the Fremont-Winema National Forest and Crater Lake National Park have worked collaboratively on a variety of thinning and prescribed burning projects in the Antelope Desert area of the Chemult Ranger District.

The Timber Crater 6 Fire was burning in an area with heavy fuels with few breaks where firefighters could work safely. Fire behavior can be extreme under these conditions. But, the nearby treated areas gave firefighters safe ground to operate and respond under more favorable conditions. The treated areas were critical in keeping the wildfire shorter in duration, less costly, safer for firefighters, less threatening to private property, and with few smoke and economic impacts to local communities.

Often, firefighters need to do significant preparation before starting a burnout operation, including removing trees, chipping, and digging fire lines. The burned area, now cleared of potential fuels, can then serve a “fire break” against a advancing, larger fire.

Two firefighters use a chainsaw to clear brush below a stand of pine trees.

Firefighters prepare an area for burnout operations on Fremont-Winema National Forest as part of efforts to contain the 2018 Timber Crater 6 fire. USDA Forest Service photo.

Because the treated areas required little prep work, crews were able to move in quickly to conduct a burnout operation, and confining the most dangerous part of the fire and removing fuels in its path.

In less than three weeks, the Timber Crater 6 fire was confined to just 3,126 acres and many firefighters were freed up early to move on to other fires.

Old-growth Ponderosa pine trees were protected from high-intensity wildfire, no community evacuations were required, and this fire did not contribute to the longer duration smoke impacts that occurred across the region this season.

The Timber Crater 6 fire demonstrates the value of fuels treatment projects. Many areas across the Pacific Northwest, especially in the wildland urban interface, need thinning and prescribed burning to improve forest health and reduce wildfire risk.

That’s why the Forest Service is working closely with state partners and local communities to increase the number and size of these fuels reduction projects in conjunction with efforts to strengthen fire-adapted community preparedness.


Source information: USDA Forest Service – Pacific Northwest Region staff

Matsutake mushroom season opens on Central Oregon forests

matsutake mushroom cap grows on a forest floor

BEND, Ore. – Aug. 28, 2018 – Matsutake mushroom commercial season opens immediately following Labor Day weekend on four National Forests in central Oregon.

This year’s commercial season for Matsutake mushrooms on the Deschutes, Fremont-Winema, Umpqua, and Willamette National Forests is Sept. 4 through Nov. 4, 2018.

Permits for the 62-day commercial season will cost $200. Half-season permits, valid for 31 consecutive days, will be $100, and day permits will be $8 per day with a three-day minimum purchase (picking days do not need to be consecutive).

The permits are valid on all four Central Oregon forests, and is required for all gathering of Matsutake mushrooms for re-sale.

Harvesters must be 18 years of age or older and have a valid ID in order to purchase a permit. Permits will be available at ranger district offices on the forests during regular business hours.

Each purchase of a permit will include an informational synopsis and map. The map shows areas open to harvest. The permit is NOT valid on state or private property.

Areas closed to harvest include Crater Lake National Park, Newberry National Volcanic Monument, HJ Andrews Experimental Forest, and Research Natural Areas, Wilderness areas, Oregon Cascades Recreation Area (OCRA), campgrounds, and other posted closed areas.

The Forest Service requires commercial harvesters to have written permission from the agency to camp on any National Forest, except in designated camping areas.

Ranger District office locations:

Camping:

A campground for harvesters has been established at Little Odell Mushroom Camp near Crescent Lake, Ore. Hoodoo Recreation Services will manage the camp. The per-person rate for camping is $125 for the full two month season, $75 for a half-season and $40 per week. Site occupancy allows up to 8 persons and 2 vehicles. Water, garbage, and toilet services are provided. The camp will open on September 4, 2018. For more information about rates or services at Little Odell Mushroom Camp you can contact Hoodoo at 541-338-7869 or www.hoodoo.com.

Fire Safety:

Mushroom harvesters are reminded that Public Use Restrictions are in effect and must be followed due to VERY HIGH or EXTREME fire danger within the Fremont-Winema, Umpqua, Deschutes, and the Willamette National Forests. Harvesters should call the numbers listed for more information on site specific public use restrictions.

For more information about the Matsutake mushroom program, contact:

  • Fremont-Winema National Forest (Chemult Ranger District): (541) 365-7001,
  • Deschutes National Forest (Crescent Ranger District): (541) 433-3200,
  • Umpqua National Forest: (541) 957-3200
  • Willamette National Forest: 541-225-6300

Source information: Deschutes, Fremont-Winema, Umpqua and Willamette National Forest Matsutake Mushroom program (joint press release)

NIFC reports 1,300 lightning strikes in S. Oregon overnight

Map depicting heavy lightning in southern Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. – June 16, 2018 –The Northwest Interagency Fire Information Center reports higher-than-average temperatures, low humidity, and lack of rain are contributing to new fire starts in southern Oregon following thunderstorms that brought more than 13,000 lightning strikes in the past 24 hours.

The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, located in southwest Oregon, reported more than 100 new fire starts today, following the storms, and is implementing seasonal restrictions on potentially fire-causing activities on the forest.

The Umpqua National Forest also announced seasonal fire restrictions are in effect on that forest, beginning today, due to the hot, dry weather and rising wildland fire risk.

The Klamathon Fire, which has been burning in north-central California just south of the Oregon border, is 90 percent contained as of this morning, according to Inciweb. a federal and state inter-agency wildland fire incident information system.

The National Weather Service in Pendleton, Ore. has issued a red flag warning for southern Oregon from Tuesday, July 17 at 1 p.m. through Wednesday, July 18 at 8 p.m. due to forecasted wind gusts and continuing dry weather creating elevated fire risk and potential for extreme fire behavior.

Read more Pacific NW wildland fire-related news and weather info on the Northwest Fire Information Center blog: http://nwccinfo.blogspot.com/.

For more information about specific, large (named) fires, visit InciWeb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/.

Map depicting heavy lightning in southern Oregon

The Northwest Interagency Fire Coordination Center in Portland, OR reported 1336 lightning strikes in 24 hours in southern Oregon, from 8 a.m. July 15 to 8 a.m. July 16, 2018.


Source Information: Northwest Fire Information Center, InciWeb, Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, Umpqua National Forest (staff reports)

Applications accepted for Digit Point Campground hosts through May 5

Topographical maps depicting area around Miller Lake and adjacent Mount Thielsen Wilderness n the Fremont-Winema National Forest, outside Chemult, Ore.

CHEMULT, Ore.April 27, 2018 – The Fremont-Winema National Forest is looking for energetic, friendly, customer-service oriented people to serve as volunteer campground hosts at Digit Point Campground during the 2018 season. Applications are being accepted through May 5, for hosting to begin by June 10, 2018.

The 64-unit Digit Point Campground is located approximately 12 miles west of Chemult, Ore., adjacent to Miller Lake. The lake has a boat ramp, day use area, and is stocked annually with rainbow trout. Kokanee salmon, brown, and brook trout are also found here.

Campground hosts provide an enjoyable camping experience for the public.  Hosts are expected to provide information about the campground and local recreation opportunities to campground visitors.  They must work well with people, be personable, neat in appearance and physically able to perform the following tasks:

  • Clean and stock restrooms
  • Clean fire rings, picnic tables and pick up litter
  • Mow and weed-eat campsites and along roadways
  • Request fee compliance

Hosts are needed from mid-June through mid-September, with a weekly schedule of Thursday through Monday, including holidays.

Volunteers must provide their own self-contained trailer.  The Forest Service will provide a campsite, water, propane, gas and a subsistence allowance.

To apply, contact Heidi Anderson at (541) 891-3559.

For more information about the Fremont-Winema National Forest, visit www.fs.usda.gov/fremont-winema or follow the Forest on Twitter @FremontWinemaNF.

Press release: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/fremont-winema/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD576719

Applications open for Williamson River Campground summer hosts

An eroded, rocky cliff face rises above evergreen trees.

CHILOQUIN, Ore. March 30, 2018 — The Fremont-Winema National Forest is looking for energetic, friendly, good-natured people to serve as campground hosts at Williamson River Campground during the 2018 season.

Applications will be accepted through April 30, with a preferred start date no later than May 24.

The 20-unit Williamson River Campground is located approximately 10 miles north of Chiloquin.

Volunteer campground hosts are responsible for providing an enjoyable camping experience for the public by assisting visitors with information about the campground and local recreation opportunities, and must provide their own self-contained trailer. In exchange, the Forest Service provides a campsite, propane, gas and a subsistence allowance.

Hosts must work well with people, be personable, neat in appearance and physically able to perform the following tasks:

  • Clean and stock restrooms
  • Clean fire rings, picnic tables and pick up litter
  • Mow and weed-eat campsites and along roadways
  • Request fee compliance

Hosts are needed from Memorial Day through Labor Day, with a weekly schedule of Thursday through Monday (including holidays).

For more information or to apply, contact Heidi Anderson, Fremont-Winema National Forest, at (541) 891-3559.

For more information on the Fremont-Winema National Forest, visit www.fs.usda.gov/fremont-winema or follow the forest on Twitter @FremontWinemaNF.

Staff report; Fremont-Winema National Forest PAO