BLM moves up controlled burn at viewing area

The burn, which will cover approximately 100 acres, will improve elk forage and habitat.

Posted: Jun 15, 2018 5:13 PM
Updated: Jun 18, 2018 12:54 PM

UPDATE -- Due to weather conditions, fire officials with the Bureau of Land Management have moved the burn to June 19 and 20.

There is a slight chance of showers later in the week, officials said. The agency wants to burn the pastureland before the grass becomes too wet.
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REEDSPORT, Ore. -- Fire officials with the Bureau of Land Management plan to conduct a controlled pasture burn at the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area June 20 and 21.

The burn, which will cover approximately 100 acres, will improve elk forage and habitat, the BLM said in a news release Thursday.

The BLM is targeting the pastureland directly in front of and to the west of the main viewing area along Highway 38, just east of Reedsport, with the hope that the wild herd of 80 to 100 Roosevelt elk will continue to use the pastures.

“Burning off the low-quality grasses allows more nutrient-rich plants to grow,” said Kathy Westenskow-Davis, Coos Bay District Manager. “Grasses that the elk love to eat emerge in as little as a week after the burn.”

Fire officials will coordinate with Oregon Smoke Management to burn during ideal conditions and minimize the impacts of smoke on the local community.

Drivers may experience short traffic delays on Highway 38.

The main viewing area and restrooms will remain open.

Diamond Fire, Coos Forest Protective Association and the Siuslaw National Forest will be providing firefighting resources.

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