Fremont-Winema National Forest Service News

The Little Yamsay Fire, a low-intensity naturally ignited fire, was discovered on April 20, a holdover from lightning that came through the area on April 13. After careful consideration and consultation with partners, fire managers decided that this fire could follow in the footsteps of last year’s Dillon Creek Fire, a naturally ignited wildfire that, similarly, was used to fulfill fire management objectives. On March 13, the Type 3 Incident Management Team stated that they’d reached over 6,000 acres of fire-treated landscape and were transitioning to a Type 4 Incident Management Team.

Combined with the Dillon Creek Fire, this makes a block of approximately 10,000 acres that will serve as a buffer against future catastrophic wildfires. In addition, this results in a reduced risk of damage from insects and disease, enhanced nutrient content in the soil, and less competitive and invasive vegetation. Merv George, Deputy Regional Forester and member of the Hoopa Tribe, said, “This is the antidote to the wildfire crisis,” when viewing the work accomplished by the Fremont-Winema National Forest and partners.

The 2024 field and recreation season is approaching, and Forest recreation crews are working across team boundaries to prepare. Fallen trees have been removed from campgrounds, new signs have been made, and facilities are being cleaned and made available for public use. Fire, Silviculture, Recreation, and Integrated Resource Crews also sourced burnt juniper logs from the 2020 Brattain Fire to create a new sign base for the Marsters Spring Campground, 20 miles south of Paisley.

Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) operators worked with Jona Molina, West Zone Fish Biologist, and Bill Tinniswood, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, to survey Redband Rainbow Trout in the upper Williamson River near Kirk Springs through the use of UAS, also known as drones. While there were few fish near their redds during the survey, Molina and Tinniswood believe using UAS will be a positive asset in the future. Flying a drone over the river is very low-impact and allows staff to see fish in areas that are traditionally difficult to reach. Additionally, using this technology could allow staff to measure water temperatures, areas where invasive vegetation is encroaching on watersheds, and water quality.

The Fremont-Winema National Forest, Lakeview District of the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and partners are looking forward to the first year of the Oregon Outback International Dark Sky Sanctuary. While the Forest only has a handful of campgrounds identified within the boundaries of the sanctuary – Vee Lake, Can Springs, Mud Creek, and Willow Creek are expected to see most of the stargazing traffic – much of the Forest sees very little light pollution. The best dates for stargazing this year line up with two federal holidays – June 6, July 5(the Fourth of July Weekend), Aug.  4, Sept.  2 (Labor Day), Oct. 2, and Nov. 1. The following dates will be excellent for moon viewing; May 23, June 21, July 21, Aug. 19, Sept.  17, and Oct. 15.

Erik Fey, DM, Forest Supervisor, announced on May 13 that he would be accepting a new temporary assignment as an Assistant to the Regional Forester. Starting June 2, Wade McMaster, currently the Forest Supervisor in the Mendocino National Forest, will be filling in as Acting Forest Supervisor for 120 days.

Benjamin Wilson is the Public Affairs Officer for the U.S. Forest Service.