Category Archives: Mail Tribune

Medford meeting will air smoke management proposals

State officials will visit Medford next week in one of several public hearings on proposals intended to reduce the lung-choking smoke that has become all too common in the state each summer by increasing controlled burns in non-fire seasons. Oregon departments of Forestry and Environmental Quality will hold the hearing, which is set for 7 […]
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Reservoir levels scraping bottom

Drought, hot summer weather and continued draw-down for irrigation needs have Emigrant, Hyatt and Howard Prairie lakes headed toward their lowest levels since 2014, leading to recreation closures and threatening to inflict future water headaches. Emigrant and Hyatt lakes — which like Howard Prairie are actually reservoirs — are forecast to drop below 10 percent […]
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Smoke fix: Years of work, millions of dollars

It’s become monotonous. With only a few brief interludes of favorable winds to clear the smoke, Southern Oregonians go about their daily business in sealed cars and closed-up houses and workplaces, strapping breathing masks to their faces if they must be outside for any length of time. It’s a normal reaction to these conditions to […]
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Fix broken policies to help restore forests

“We are hostages in our own homes.” That’s how Jennifer, a mother from Medford, described to me what communities in Southern Oregon and across the West are enduring yet again: a summer filled with smoke and fire. Jennifer continued in her letter to me saying, “my children are robbed of being able to play outside. […]
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Time to take action to limit summer fires

When I attended Ashland High School in the 1980s, we looked forward to summer as a time to play in our great outdoors. It’s a Southern Oregon tradition. But in recent years, the average size, frequency, and severity of wildfires has been increasing. Air quality in Oregon has been among the worst in the nation […]
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Wineries don’t need to be event centers

In response to your Aug. 9 editorial regarding concerns of wineries events and neighbors, you state wineries “can’t survive just on the sale of wine through their tasting rooms, and hosting events helps them make ends meet,” and “wine alone is not enough to sustain vineyards and wineries all year long, especially smaller ones.” That […]
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Merged wildfires could spread toward coast

Two massive wildfires that merged west of Grants Pass have been split into two management zones – one to protect inland towns like Merlin, Grants Pass and Cave Junction, and the other to slow the spread of the fires toward the Oregon coast. Sparked by a lightning storm that started fires throughout Southern Oregon on […]
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Smoke map shows bad news in our future

If you want to get away from the wildfire smoke over the next few days, you likely have quite the trek ahead of you. The HRRR (high resolution rapid refresh) smoke model map, utilized by the National Weather Service, shows a massive wallop of smoke from numerous fires in Washington, Montana and Idaho — Canada, […]
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Impatient drivers endanger highway workers

The death of one road worker and the injury of two others over the past week have prompted the Oregon Department of Transportation to warn people to slow down in construction zones. “People are waiting in line and they get impatient and try to break the line,” said Dave Thompson, spokesman for ODOT. Jackson County […]
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Fire officials aim for full suppression

With the Taylor Creek and Klondike fires merged at nearly 120,000 acres — and still growing — many southwestern Oregonians fear the blaze is poised to enter the record books alongside the 2002 Biscuit fire and last year’s Chetco Bar fire. In an effort to quell that possibility, fire managers brought in reinforcements from California […]
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