Forest Service discusses Northwest’s wildfire crisis during online community forum

1 month ago KTVZ

PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) — The USDA Forest Service held an online community forum recently to address the wildfire crisis facing the Pacific Northwest.

Glenn Casamassa, the Forest Service's Regional Forester for the Pacific Northwest, spoke at the Feb. 16 forum and emphasized the importance of mitigating wildfire risk to communities. He explained that the wildfire challenge in the Northwest is largely due to changing weather patterns caused by climate change.

“We're experiencing less predictable weather — changing rain and snow patterns, less snowpack, intense heat waves, and really a significant amount of persistent drought,” Casamassa said. “Even with the rain and snow we've had so far this winter, about 64% of Oregon continues to experience drought conditions and we know that overall, one winter of good heavy snowpack is not necessarily going to help us recover from really the persistent drought we've experienced over the past few years.”

Drought weakens the forest and makes it more susceptible to outbreaks of invasive insects and disease. Combine this with hot summers, unpredictable lightning and windstorms, and overcrowded forests littered with dead and dying trees, branches, and fallen trees, and the conditions for wildfires are set.

To reduce the risk and restore healthy forests to the landscapes, the Forest Service is working closely with other federal and non-federal entities and allocating a historic level of resources and funds to confront the crisis.

Shasta Ferranto, the leader of the Forest Service's wildfire crisis team in the Pacific Northwest Region, joined the forum to discuss the agency's efforts to confront the crisis throughout Oregon and Washington.

“This strategy focuses our efforts on the places where it’ll do the most good and the most quickly to protect communities from wildfire exposure,” said Ferranto.

In the Pacific Northwest, five landscapes are being prioritized for investments. In Washington state, they include the Northeast Washington landscape on the Colville National Forest and the central Washington initiative on the Okanagan-Wenatchee National Forest. In Oregon, they include the Central Oregon landscape on the Deschutes National Forest, the landscape around the Mount Hood National Forest, and the Klamath River Basin landscape, which includes portions of the Fremont-Winema National Forest in Oregon as well as several California forests.

“These five landscapes are and will continue to receive significant funding and resources over the next 10 years, with a goal of changing the trajectory of the wildfire crisis across them,” Ferranto said.

Ferranto emphasized that these are not the only places where fuel treatments and wildfire risk reduction work is taking place and that the Forest Service is working across the region to apply different tools where they will be most effective.

She highlighted various partnerships with state, local, and private partners to address wildfire risks in high-risk fire sheds, such as the Ashland Forest Resiliency Project in southwest Oregon. Additionally, she said, the Forest Service is providing grants to Oregon and Washington state to provide technical assistance and forestry expertise to private landowners and homeowners.

Ferranto stressed the importance of collaboration with partners and communities to address the wildfire crisis and emphasized the need to develop commercial uses and markets for small diameter timber and biomass, which can be used for wood energy, biochar production, and other purposes.

Alex Robertson, the director of Fire and Aviation Management for the Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest and Alaska Regions, also spoke at the forum about the Forest Service's prescribed burn program. He highlighted the importance of reducing combustible material in forests to lower the intensity of wildfires and assist firefighters in protecting communities, property, and infrastructure.

Robertson also talked about how the Forest Service places a great emphasis on managing smoke from prescribed fires to avoid adverse impacts to communities, minimize public health impacts, and reduce smoke impacts to visibility on roadways.

“Federal prescribed fire plans must identify smoke sensitive areas,” he said. Those include population centers, recreation areas, hospitals, airports, transportation corridors, schools, and more. “Many prescribed fires are postponed due to poor forecasted smoke dispersion or wind direction and speeds which don't meet planned avoidance or smoke sensitive areas,” Robertson said.

Even with the challenges of managing for smoke and other key factors, professional firefighters know the importance of the work. “Every year we see where fuels treatments have made a difference, whether it's by reducing fire risk to a nearby community or slowing fire growth of an advancing wildfire,” said Robertson. “We need your support to continue this important work.”

Ferranto added, “The bottom line is we live in a fire-prone landscape here in the Pacific Northwest. Our environment depends on frequent small fires to keep the mega fires away."

To view a recording of the online community forum, visit

Continue reading...

Read On "KTVZ"
More News On "KTVZ"
28 days ago - Alameda County landlords owed thousands in rent, call for an end to eviction moratorium 28 days ago - Monday Feb. 27 COVID-19 update: 4 deaths in Douglas County 28 days ago - State basketball preview: 6A, 5A tournaments return to Weber State’s Dee Events Center this week 28 days ago - One Wealth Advisors LLC invests in Enovix Co. (NASDAQ:ENVX) 28 days ago - Uncommon length makes Pleasant Valley’s 2-3 a no-scoring zone 28 days ago - Study: Back-to-back hurricanes likely to come more often 28 days ago - What’s Happening Vegas? – March 2023 28 days ago - Osceola County community events calendar for 03/01/2023 28 days ago - North Adams, East Clinton, Unioto still alive 28 days ago - North Korea holds rare meeting on farming amid food shortage 28 days ago - 'Dilbert,' Scott Adams lose distributor over racist remarks 28 days ago - Soap or phone call? Colo. lawmakers want to make prison phone calls free 28 days ago - EXPLAINER: Windstorm was likely a derecho. What is that? 28 days ago - What's Happening in Las Vegas for this Year's March Madness 28 days ago - Outsmarting humans just one step for AI video game players 28 days ago - 'Cocaine Bear' gets high with $23.1M, 'Ant-Man' sinks fast 28 days ago - 'Everything Everywhere All at Once' dominates at SAG Awards 28 days ago - Digital Transformation: The Revolutionary Impact of Technology in Africa 28 days ago - ShotSpotter (NASDAQ:SSTI) Price Target Increased to $44.00 by Analysts at Lake Street Capital 28 days ago - Season 3 of Outer Banks disappoints critics; watch only if you were a die-hard fan of earlier seasons, they suggest 29 days ago - Board Game and Card Game Market Size in 2023 with [ STATISTICS FIGURES] Future Development Status and Forecast up to 2029 29 days ago - Tabletop Gaming Market Size in 2023 NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT and Latest Innovation in Analytics Sector till 2029 29 days ago - Celona Offers Most Comprehensive Private 5G Solutions for U.S. and Foreign Markets 29 days ago - ShotSpotter, Inc. (NASDAQ:SSTI) to Post Q1 2023 Earnings of ($0.03) Per Share, Northland Capmk Forecasts 29 days ago - Asian shares track Wall Street decline on hot economic data 29 days ago - Final Nebraska high school swimming and diving season leaders 29 days ago - Girls BB: Saluting Section Champions 29 days ago - Tens of thousands protest Mexico electoral reforms 29 days ago - Third finals appearance the charm for Hortonville's Skebba; Stoffel makes history for Appleton North 29 days ago - Medical Blades Market Business Opportunities, Top Players and Forecast 2030 29 days ago - Central College Dutch Sports Update – 2/26/2023 29 days ago - Buhro takes individual crown as Oak Harbor earns sectional championship 1 month ago - Nebraska conservatives set sights on education takeover – Associated Press 1 month ago - Back-to-back: Minico successfully defends 4A state wrestling championship 1 month ago - Here are Saturday's high school sports results 1 month ago - Farewell, Fontana: NASCAR's last weekend at a racing gem 1 month ago - Kansas Democrats pick Repass as their new chair despite campaign baggage 1 month ago - Tesla’s Global Engineering HQ in Palo Alto — Opening Party Highlights (Pics, Videos, Quotes) 1 month ago - San Ann'as Pizza and Mexican celebrating 45th anniversary 1 month ago - L.A. on the Record: The Senate takes one more look at Garcetti 1 month ago - Dodge County real estate transfers 1 month ago - How UNL instructors are tackling the emergence of ChatGPT and other AI in higher education 1 month ago - Some Democratic-led states seek to bolster voter protections 1 month ago - Casey Vaughan: Only rain should go down a storm drain 1 month ago - Nebraska conservatives set sights on education takeover 1 month ago - West Michigan Conference basketball: Girls and boys roundup from Feb. 24, 2023 – CatchMark Sports 1 month ago - Jeff Yost: Look Upstream 1 month ago - Brokers Set Expectations for ShotSpotter, Inc.'s Q4 2023 Earnings (NASDAQ:SSTI) 1 month ago - Building affordable homes in Fremont 1 month ago - Local chef to open farm-to-table eatery in Fremont 1 month ago - Jeanna Wilcoxen Murder: Where Is Jeremiah Connelly Now? 1 month ago - More than 70 soldiers killed in Burkina Faso, extremists say 1 month ago - Clyde Council to consider citizens raising chickens in town 1 month ago - Wilhelm: More on Jacksons, Willow Hill and efforts to share insight into African American history 1 month ago - STATE HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING TOURNAMENTS: Crowded at the top ... Trojans third, but well within striking distance in 5A tournament 1 month ago - Bulldog wrestlers have solid day at state 1 month ago - High school boys basketball: 6A/5A second round recap 1 month ago - Head-To-Head Analysis: Amprius Technologies (NYSE:AMPX) & Novanta (NASDAQ:NOVT) 1 month ago - Here are Friday's high school sports results 1 month ago - It’s Official: California Will Be Tesla’s Engineering & AI Headquarters
free geoip