Private timberlands close for Fire Season
Fires so far this year are already 1.5 times higher than the 10-year average
June 24, 2021
With a combined timberland acreage of around 600,000 acres, a group of private timberland owners consisting of Seneca, Lone Rock Resources, Giustina Resources, Campbell Global, and Giustina Land & Timber Company, closed public access to their lands today, June 28th.
Due to drought conditions, and above-average temperatures, Oregon is already experiencing a bad fire season. The number of fires so far this year is already 1.5 times higher than the 10-year average, and the acreage affected has been more than four times greater than the 10-year average.
Landowners have been monitoring fuel conditions this spring, as well as reviewing snowpack, weather forecasts, and drought impacts. The limited precipitation across the region this spring has significantly affected the moisture content of woody debris, as well as the condition of live vegetation fuels and their susceptibility to fire ignition and spread.
Since most of Oregon’s wildfires are started by people, public visits to private land have the potential to be dangerous for both the public visitors as well as the timberlands.
“This historic heatwave is smashing records. It is important for us to proactively close our lands down to the public for the safety of our timberlands, firefighters, and all Oregonians,” said Casey Roscoe, Seneca’s senior vice president of marketing and communications.
The group has timberland in Benton, Coos, Curry, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Lane, Linn, and Polk counties.