This year’s wildfire season brought with it the more smoke that many of us have ever experienced.  Virtually no part of the state escaped the thick unhealthy air from all the wildfires in late summer. Because of this, smoke management is a hot topic right now.

To increase their shared understanding of smoke management and role that prescribed fire plays in fuels reduction on actively managed forest land, the Board of Forestry (BOF) and the Environmental Quality Commission (EQC) met jointly to explore the current regulatory framework and on-the-ground practices. The meeting began in Eugene with an interactive discussion explaining the roles of the Department of Forestry (ODF) and Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) in permitting, monitoring and enforcing smoke management regulations. As related to managed forestland, it’s a complicated and effective process that requires a high degree of communication and cooperation between land owners and ODF before, during and after the on-the-ground actions. ODF’s smoke management program has been in place since 1972, and has proven to be very successful at preventing smoke from debris burns impacting urban areas. For more information, go to http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/pages/Burn.aspx

Attendees next climbed into vans and headed to the hills outside of Crow, southwest of Eugene in the mixed O&C (Bureau of Land Management) and privately owned timberland of the Coast Range foothills.  Standing (i