Wednesday, June 28, 2017

June 28, 2017 - Gerber Flats and Bear Fire Update

Lakeview BLMs Gerber Flat Fire a management success story

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – Gerber Recreation Area will still be green for the Fourth of July, thanks to a quick response to Monday’s lightning fire combined with an ongoing resource management program.

“The campgrounds and view sheds were not affected by the fire and winter snowmelt has restored the reservoir to historically normal levels,” said Klamath Falls Field Manager Don Holmstrom, whose office manages the area. “There’s a lot of fishing going on out there.”

In the early 2000s, BLM’s Lakeview District implemented a combined fuels treatment program of under-burning, juniper removal and commercial logging. As a result, the Gerber Flat Fire stayed low to the ground rather than climbing taller “ladder” fuels into the canopy.

“This shows how a wildland fire under the right conditions in the right areas can beneficially perform its natural role across the landscape for resource benefit.,” said Justin Pyle, a BLM fuels specialist, who wrote the original management plan. “Active fuels management in this area helped facilitate safe and efficient suppression efforts.”

Monday’s lightning ignited two fires in the Gerber Area, and South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership crews worked through the night to suppress them.

Incident Commander Scott Havel said crews on the 194-acre Gerber Flat Fire would continue to reinforce firelines to a depth of 100 to 150 feet from the Gerber Road and along its east and west boundaries.

Ground crews were able to limit the Bear Fire, which started shortly after the Gerber Flat Fire, to 13 acres and expect to have it fully contained later today.

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