Both the Joseph Canyon and Dry Creek fires started sometime between June 3-4 in the area's rugged and remote terrain. Despite coming in early June, Matt Howard, Wallowa Unit forester for the Oregon Department of Forestry, said they burned with an intensity normally reserved for August or late fall.
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The new grass crop is spotty on the range after a mild winter, helping fast-burning fine fuels such as cheatgrass carry over from last year.
The perennial bunchgrass plant communities, typical of many grasslands in the Pacific Northwest, have a shorter window of flammability due to their higher moisture content going into the summer than do the invasive annual grasses.
Rancher testifies on the need for swift, decisive and strategic intervention to interrupt the current fire cycle.
The state Department of Natural Resources will transfer 1,360 acres in Douglas County, Wash., rangeland to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Experts say the aftermath of wildfires is often overlooked. Loss of forage and rangeland is extensive, and many farmers are struggling to feed livestock.
Taming the energy of a wildfire on Oregon’s high desert takes a lot of human energy and organization. That’s a fact well known by Summer Lake …