Ashland, Oregon Information in Emergency Events

Why it got a little smoky today

I noticed fog-like hazy smoke in the Tolman Creek / Siskiyou Boulevard area this evening around 6:00PM. Chris Chambers of Ashland Fire and Rescue has the explanation:

Some smoke slipped down the hill into town earlier today and then blew away just after noon for the most part…and then came back down after sunset, mostly at the south end of town. Expect some smoke to linger Friday and possibly Saturday before a wet system forecasted for Saturday night should put an end to most, if not all of the lingering smoke. Sorry for the brief smokiness, but we’re getting good conditions and need to take advantage in order reduce fire danger to better protect town and the watershed from a summer wildfire. Last season netted only three days of burning and we fell way behind. Crews are patrolling the burn areas all week and burning additional acres if allowed by smoke regulators and on site weather conditions. There are no road or trail closures, but expect smoke if you’re hiking or biking up the hill. Thanks for your patience.

Posted by Paul Collins on Thu, 12 Nov 2015

Controlled burn November 3rd, more burns to come in AFR project

Controlled burning of brush piles will take place NOVEMBER 3RD on the west side of the Ashland Watershed above Granite Street as part of the fuels reduction and forest restoration efforts of the AFR Project. Smoke may be visible from parts of town throughout the day. Although no roads or trails will be closed, recreationalists should use caution due to potential smoke impacts and truck traffic on the 2060 Road/Ashland Loop Road from Granite and Glenview Dr beyond the yellow gate up to the 2060-200 road out to the bottom of Horn Gap trail.

This is the first of an increasing number burn projects to come as air quality conditions allow through next spring. Due to limited opportunities to safely burn piles over the last two seasons, a backlog of nearly 1,500 acres has accumulated. Pile burning is a key step in the process of reducing fire danger in the city’s watershed. Fire managers will try to burn smaller acreages more frequently this year, hoping to make a dent in the backlog. 74 acres are on tap for Tuesday and burning will continue if smoke management conditions are met through the week. We’ll send notifications for larger burn projects or as needed if burns will affect trails. The project webpage will have current information on the homepage.

Information regarding burning is recorded on the City of Ashland Smoke and Wildfire Hotline at 541-552-2490 and at AFR Facebook page

Notice provided by Chris Chambers, Forest Division Chief, Ashland Fire & Rescue

Posted by Paul Collins on Mon, 2 Nov 2015

Smoke from California fires is here

NOAA Smoke map for July 30, 2015
A general haze and smokiness is visible around Ashland. NOAA reports:

The wildfires in the Sierra Nevada and in northwest California are producing expansive smoke plumes that are moving to the west northwest off the Sierras and then to the north. There are fairly large areas of moderately dense smoke with most of these fires. The smoke extends north across much of west and south central Oregon. Another area of smoke likely attributable to the California wildfires is seen moving northeast across north Idaho into southwest Canada.


Posted by Paul Collins on Thu, 30 Jul 2015

Burning Done, Smoke Will Linger and Trails Still Closed May 1st

Ignitions just finished at 3:00 PM [Thursday] on the burning. Smoke will lighten up and dissipate. The work went well, though had to carve off a portion of the 75 acres we set out to burn because it was too moist. Approximately 50 acres on AFR was completed and another 20 on City forestlands higher in the watershed near Reeder Reservoir.

Light smoke may sink into town overnight. Those sensitive to smoke should close windows and use air conditioners as needed. Smoke today was much lighter than we can see during summer wildfire season, and a benefit to the watershed instead of what could be much, much worse. Look for coverage on local news channels and The Daily Tidings.

Trails and the 2060 road above Morton St will stay closed [Friday May 1] due to burn traffic and crews on the trails mopping up. You can also check the status of trails and our work on AFR’s Facebook page .

—Chris Chambers
Ashland Fire & Rescue

Posted by Paul Collins on Thu, 30 Apr 2015

Controlled Underburn Thursday, April 30th at White Rabbit Trailhead

Expect to see a column of smoke above Ashland on Friday as the first controlled underburn of the Ashland Forest Resiliency Stewardship Project (AFR) is undertaken. Heavy smoke will be visible from Ashland and surrounding areas and residents may smell smoke, especially in the evening.

The following areas will be closed on Thursday: White Rabbit Trailhead, White Rabbit Trail at USFS boundary, upper Mike Uhtoff Trail, Alice in Wonderland trail above Bandersnatch, Ashland Loop Road above the junction with Morton Street, Jabberwocky Trail and Caterpillar Trail.

Underburning differs from the commonly seen pile burning where single brush piles are lit one by one. During an underburn, fire crews carefully apply fire to a designated area bordering a road or other fireline to hold the low flames. Underburns mimic the long-absent natural role of fire in our local ecosystem, consuming needles, leaves, and branches on the forest floor that would otherwise accumulate over time and potentially fuel a severe fire that could threaten the community and our municipal water supply.

—Chris Chambers
Ashland Fire & Rescue

Posted by Paul Collins on Thu, 30 Apr 2015