Fire danger cancels prescribed burns planned for this week

EUGENE, Ore. - Faced with near-record dry conditions and weather ideal for fanning wildfires, public land managers canceled prescribed burns planned for the Fern Ridge area this week.

The agencies in the Rivers to Ridges partnership - City of Eugene, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Lane County, Lane Regional Air Protection Authority and The Nature Conservancy - planned controlled burns in the area for ecological purposes to benefit native vegetation.

The burns also minimize the risk of wildfires.

The planned burn locations were near Fisher Butte and off of Royal Avenue near Danebo.

Eugene District BLM spokesman Michael Mascari says the partnership sets prescribed burns only when the wind direction and weather conditions are ideal to prevent the smoke from blanketing populated areas and to ensure the fires stay under control.

The National Weather Service issued a "red flag warning" for most of Western Oregon on Tuesday that remains in effect through Thursday evening.

A red flag warning means wind, humidity and other conditions are primed for the rapid ignition and spread of wildfires.