Partners in the Rivers to Ridges fall ecological burn program are planning to burn up to 210 acres at natural areas within city limits and approximately 1,200 acres in other locations within Lane County. Coordinated planning for this year’s burn units has been underway since early 2022.
Controlled burning could begin after Labor Day and continue through the end of October, but it is unlikely all areas will be burned in any given year. Residents may observe smoke when controlled burning is underway at Meadowlark Prairie and other locations in west Eugene.
Careful consideration is given to weather conditions when the wind is forecasted to blow smoke up and away from nearby residential areas and roadways. The Lane Regional Air Protection Agency reviews our plans and provides guidance on appropriate burn windows for ecological burning and must approve the plan.
The City of Eugene along with partners in the Rivers to Ridges Partnership have been granted an exception to the ban on outdoor burning within city limits and prescribed fire operations are coordinated with regional fire districts in Lane County.
Partners participate in these controlled burns each year on lands throughout the southern Willamette Valley to protect and restore valuable biological diversity in prairie and savanna ecosystems. Additionally, since many of our natural areas and private residences are located in the wildland-urban interface, it is especially important to reduce fuel levels by removing standing dead vegetation to decrease the chance of uncontrolled wildfire.
Experienced and highly trained fire crews manage these controlled burns using detailed burn plans, which include extensive prescriptions for conducting the burns to provide maximum protection for the community. Partners bring over 30 years of experience to this effort.
For more information and a map please visit eugene-or.gov/prescribedfire.