Small Woodlands E-News - June 2015

Prescribed Fire Programs: The Southern Oregon Prescribed Fire Network has two upcoming programs: Monitoring the Effects of Prescribed Underburning, June 25, 6pm; Creating Fire Resistant Communities in Southern Oregon, July 9, 6pm, both at the OSU Extension Auditorium, 569 Hanley Rd, Central Point. Click on the links to view the flyers.

New pub on oaks and wildlife: Restoring Oak Habitats in Southern Oregon and Northern California: A guide for private landowners. Oak woodlands are increasingly recognized as vital habitat for a wide range of wildlife species. And most oak woodlands are in private hands, so the actions of individual owners are critical. This very nice publication from Klamath Bird Observatory, Lomakatsi and other partners provides practical tips and suggestions for maintaining and enhancing oak habitats in our region.

Invasive weed management in riparian areas: I recently organized a daylong workshop on weed management in streamside areas under auspices of the Riparian Practitioner’s Network. Here are a few take-aways from the session as well as links to the workshop presentations.

Protecting your home and property from wildfire: It’s early days in what could be a long fire season. Below you’ll find a few educational resources to help you think about how to better prepare for wildfire – from home protection, to landscaping around the home, to managing your forest or woodland to be more fire-resistant.

Ember awareness:Homes in or near a wildfire are typically subject to a storm of embers or firebrands. It’s often these ember storms that ignite flammable material near, on, or in the home, resulting in the home burning to the ground. This 4:18 video by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety shows a home subject to an ember storm in laboratory conditions It certainly got my attention! Check out the firebrands penetrating the 1/8th mesh attic vent screen. Scary.

"Wildfire! Preventing Home Ignitions" is a 19-minute video that answers the question, why do homes burn in wildfires? The answer may seem obvious until you consider that some homes directly in the path of wildfire don’t burn, while others well away from the fire path do. This video, featuring USFS scientist Jack Cohen, explains why. It contains some fun historical fire footage plus a lot of great information about preventing home ignition in wildfires. Part 1 (10:07). Part 2 (8:57)

Fire-resistant landscaping: Homeowners, gardeners and anyone else living in areas at risk of wildfire should consider the use of fire-resistant plants in their landscape. For ideas, see Fire-resistant Plants for Home Landscapes, a 48 page compendium filled with pictures and descriptions of attractive trees, shrubs, and groundcover. Have I ever mentioned my lack of enthusiasm for Leyland cypress, a fast-growing trees widely used for privacy screens that is as flammable as a Roman candle? For more fire-resistant options for privacy screens, check out this OSU Extension publication.

Beyond the home ignition zone: You can’t truly “fire-proof” your property (unless you pave it over), but you can make your woods more fire-resistant; that is, you can treat the forest so the intensity of a wildfire is reduced and the overstory trees are more likely to survive. A Land Manager’s Guide for Creating Fire-Resistant Forests provides an overview of how various silvicultural treatments affect fuels and fire behavior, and provides tips for creating fire-resistant forests. Reducing Fire Risk on Your Forest Property covers the same material in more depth, and also includes information on fuels reduction methods, roads and access, water sources and fire laws, as well as an interesting local case study.

Oregon State University offers educational programs activities, and materials—without regard to race, color, religion , sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, marital status, disability, and disabled veterans or Vietnam-era veteran status. Oregon State University is an Equal Opportunity Employer. OSU Extension programs will provide reasonable accommodations to persons with physical or mental disabilities. Our location is accessible to persons with disabilities. If you need particular accommodations, please call our Extension Office at (541) 776-7371 at least 7 days prior to the event.

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