With support of the National Fire Plan in 2000, the Umatilla National Forest, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, Oregon Department of Forestry, Union County Community Forestry Board, Rural Fire Protection Departments, interest groups, and private and industrial landowners met to address concerns over the threat of wildland fire to the wildland urban interface (WUI) area of Mt. Emily, located in Union County, Oregon.
Through a collaborative process, this group identified multiple opportunities and areas for treatment that would help protect the community from wildfire, including reducing fuels around individual homes, on private lands, and on adjacent National Forest lands. This approach would protect both the community of Mt. Emily as well as National Forest lands by reducing the risk of fast moving crown fires from burning in either direction.
The Walla Walla Ranger District of the Umatilla National Forest set out to treat stands near their boundary where the threat of crown fire moving into the Mt. Emily WUI was greatest. Treatment areas were chosen where fuel accumulations on the ground were high and ladder fuel loading was significant. In areas accessible by machinery, a track mounted “slashbuster” was used to reduce the density of standing small diameter trees as well as to masticate accumulations of fuels on the forest floor. On steeper slopes, small diameter trees were thinned and then piled by hand along with accumulations of existing surface fuels.
These fuel reduction treatments were completed on 758 acres surrounding the Mt. Emily WUI during 2006 and 2007. Through regular maintenance, the threat of wildland fire to the community will continue to be reduced in the future.
For more information on the project, contact Amber Mahoney at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling (509) 522-6026.