The Long Draw Fire is the largest Oregon wildfire in nearly 150 years. Firefighters managed to completely contain the SE Oregon fire earlier this week, but ranchers, land owners, and public officials in the area are still taking stock of the damage. Meanwhile fires continue to start up across the state, and are expected to keep flaring until October.
Once the fires are brought under control, a new discussion will begin about what to do with the land that was burned. Mark Wilkening of the Vale District Bureau of Land Management (BLM) explained to us that most of the burn area is BLM land. Ranchers graze their cows on that land, but after a burn, it is BLM policy to let that land rest for two years in order to rehabilitate it. Ranchers object, saying there is evidence that grazing after a fire doesn’t harm the land.
How were you affected by the Long Draw Fire or other fires in the region? What are you doing to recover?
More Think Out Loud
OPB | Feb. 22, 2017