Actively managed forests are part of the solution to catastrophic wildfires.
Three elements control wildfire: weather, fuel and topography. For land managers, the only controllable element is fuel. Proven, science-based forest management tools and prescriptions like well-planned harvest, thinning, and controlled burns reduce excessive vegetation that fuel catastrophic wildfires.
In addition to fuel reduction, when fires do occur on actively managed forests, they are easier to put out before they become catastrophic megafires. Professional foresters maintain a high-quality, extensive road system that allows firefighters safe and quick access to the fire, and they maintain access to water sources like ponds to help firefighters put out fires. When fires do occur on private forestlands, the lands are quickly restored and made safer by removing dead and dying trees and replanting with new seedlings to ensure renewal of a healthy, thriving forest for future generations.
Oregon has the best wildfire fighting system in the entire world. As part of Oregon’s unique complete and coordinated firefighting system, private forest landowners and operators stand side-by-side with federal and state firefighting efforts. Oregon’s timber industry provides millions of dollars of equipment and trained personnel every year to save people and property from wildfire, at the risk of their own lives.
Not only does active forest management protect communities from harmful, toxic wildfire smoke and provide tens of thousands of green jobs across the state, it also protects the environment by helping forests adapt to changing conditions, reducing massive carbon emissions from wildfire, and creating renewable carbon-friendly building materials.