Central Oregon Daily▶️ Charred trees from 2021 Grandview Fire being cleaned up to reduce...

▶️ Charred trees from 2021 Grandview Fire being cleaned up to reduce danger

▶️ Charred trees from 2021 Grandview Fire being cleaned up to reduce danger

▶️ Deschutes National Forest helps clean up charred trees from 2021 fire

As fire season bears down on the High Desert, many people think about the immediate damage but not the clean-up that follows.

The Grandview Fire, which began on July 11, 2021, burned more than 6,000 acres northeast of Sisters.

The result? All of those burned acres, especially those by the road, heighten the possibility of burned trees falling and causing harm.

“But this is what our ecosystem has evolved with,” said Kassidy Kern, the Public Affairs Specialist for the Deschutes National Forest.

An evolved ecosystem that’s used to the occasional fire, but that humans still aren’t. And burned trees can topple onto roads and potentially hurt passersby.

“Forest service came in and evaluated all the trees for failure or potential to fail onto the road and survivability,” said Christian Benedict, a Forest Service Representative.

RELATED: Fire that closed Highway 26 between Madras and Warm Springs contained

“After a fire, making sure that you’re mitigating not necessarily the impacts of the fire on the landscape but the impacts on the land while the fire was being fought and put out,” said Rika Ayotte, the Deschutes Land Trust Executive Director.

For the Deschutes Land Trust, that means managing trees on their own without letting natural fires thin down forests. For the Forestry Service, it means the private company with the highest bid takes the burnt wood as sellable lumber.

“At that point, the tree is then processed into log form and those logs are then decked and then loaded onto a log truck which is ultimately delivered to a local mill in the Pacific Northwest,” Benedict said.

RELATED: Free Central Oregon program inspects outside your home for fire risk factors

But not every snag, or burned tree, should be taken out of the forest.

“Animals probably live better in a wildfire adapted ecosystem than as we do as humans,” Ayotte said “So in a lot of cases, wildfire is a necessary natural process that creates habitats.”

However, mitigation is used to keep landscapes resilient, despite the number of human caused fires that are so damaging here. 

“You know it is important for us and the safety of our community to make sure that we balance leaving those natural snags and those fire impacted trees but also to make sure we’re not putting our communities and our folks at risk,” Ayotte said.

“It’s a very natural process that this would happen. We fully anticipate this to happen more,” Kern said “We’re more concerned about those human-caused starts.”

According to the Forest Service, humans are at fault for more than 150 fires every year in central Oregon.

“If we can eliminate those and keep our communities safe, we’re going to have a good fire season,” Kern said.

We talk a lot about mitigation to control fuel before a fire. Turns out, it’s just as important after a fire. 

CentralOregonDaily.com
CentralOregonDaily.comhttps://centraloregondaily.com/
Central Oregon Daily is Television in Central Oregon … on-air, on-line & on-the-go. We are KOHD – Central Oregon’s ABC, KBNZ – CBS for Central Oregon, and local programming on Central Oregon Daily, COTV and CO4 Visitors Network. We are storytellers of all that matters to Central Oregonians.

Subscribe Today

GET EXCLUSIVE ACCESS TO CONTENT

SUPPORT LOCAL JOURNALISM

NEWS FROM 30+ MEDIA SOURCES

250,000+ LOYAL READERS EACH YEAR

Get unlimited access to our news content and our archive of Central Oregon stories.

Top Stories

More Articles