November 29, 2012
Major media distribution
The Smoke Management Review Committee will receive subcommittee reports on a smoke monitoring data system, and tracking of alternatives to prescribed forest burning when it meets on December 4 in Salem.
Other agenda items include:
- Managing burning on poor/marginal days
- Proposed smoke management budget/field coordinator position
The Committee includes representatives of the public, federal agencies, the forest industry, air quality regulators and small woodland owners. The members are knowledgeable about smoke management issues and Oregon’s Smoke Management Plan. The Oregon departments of Environmental Quality and Forestry provide staff support to the committee.
Oregon’s smoke management program has two goals: remove excess forest fuels and prevent wildfire smoke emissions. After timber harvest, forest landowners may reduce the risk of wildfire through controlled or “prescribed” burning of unmarketable tree residue commonly known as slash. This removes potential fuel for a wildfire. It also prepares the logged site for replanting by releasing nutrients and removing vegetation that would otherwise compete with the young trees.
Burning in the fall shortly after wildfire danger subsides reduces smoke emissions and enables more complete removal of slash.
Oregon Department of Forestry meteorologists monitor weather conditions throughout spring and fall as they coordinate hundreds of burning requests from private and public forest landowners. This oversight helps minimize smoke intrusions into communities. Management of forest fuels through prescribed burning greatly reduces the risk of large wildfires that can pump thousands of tons of carbon into the atmosphere.
The meeting is open to the public, and public comment will be taken at 10:40 a.m. and 1:50 p.m.