Working to prevent wildfire through responsible management

How Rayonier foresters and the contractors we work with are striving to prevent wildfires in our communities

Using Forest Management to Reduce Wildfire Risk

Forest Management is a rigorous combination of practices and technologies that reduce the likelihood and severity of wildfires and mega fires. On Rayonier land, we regularly assess fire risk and apply the following techniques as needed to reduce fire risk:

Controlled burning during low wildfire risk to reduce fuels in a managed setting

Preparing brush and debris to burn at a safe time

Making fire breaks, which are open areas that can stop fire spread

Proper spacing of planted trees to ensure they’re healthy and hydrated

Reducing vegetation which, if left unchecked, acts as fuel for a fire

Choosing root rot resistant trees, which are less susceptible to fire, in the Pacific Northwest

Thinning forests to ensure the remaining trees have adequate water and space

Watching for pests and different diseases, which can increase fire hazard

Fertilizing occasionally to ensure tree health

Diversifying tree ages and species, which can break up the continuity a fire may need to spread

  • Trees in managed forests absorb more water because they have less competition. This makes them more able to withstand a small fire and more likely to slow a wildfire down.
  • Managed forests typically have more accessible roads, making a safer work environment for firefighters in the event of an emergency.
  • Controlled burns have been used for centuries. Native peoples first began using prescribed burns to prevent wildfires 100s of years ago.
  • Burn activities are always done in cooperation with local fire officials on our properties.
  • We cooperate with state and local agencies to fight wildfires by providing firefighting resources and labor, detailed maps of our ownership, and access through our property.

Many Rayonier foresters are trained firefighters, who bring their firefighting equipment to work to be ready in case of an emergency. You can learn more about our firefighting and fire prevention efforts in these stories:

  • Is forest management the key to drastically reducing wildfire risk? In this series, we talk to experienced foresters and firefighters about how to reduce the severity and frequency of forest fires, how to improve a wildland fire crew's ability to put a fire out and what causes mega fires. In this first installment, Rayonier foresters (who are also trained firefighters) share how forest management reduces wildfire risk.

    Read More
  • Is forest management the key to drastically reducing wildfire risk? An Oregon firefighter shares how managed forests make fighting a wildfire less risky for firefighters AND the communities nearby in the second installment of our wildfire prevention series.

    Read More
  • Is forest management the key to drastically reducing wildfire risk? In our final installment of this series about wildfire prevention, we look at how firefighters, foresters and loggers are making strides in protecting well-managed forests.

    Read More
  • Our forest rangers work year-round to prevent fires. During fire season, they’re ready to respond at a moment’s notice if disaster strikes.

    Read More

Scheduled Controlled Burns Across Rayonier Pacific Northwest Ownership

Rayonier cares about protecting the communities where we live and work. In the Pacific Northwest,* we use controlled burning to reduce future wildfire risk when conditions are safe for these types of operations, such as during cooler and wetter weather. The forestry team focuses on the elimination of fuels such as debris and understory vegetation that could pose a risk.

 

* Note: Rayonier's controlled burn notices are issued on a county-by-county basis in Washington and Oregon only. While controlled burning does occassionally take place in our other U.S. locations, it is most frequent in our Pacific Northwest forests. 

Location
Date Range
Additional Information

Washington

Location:

West Jefferson County

Date Range:

9/27/21 - 12/31/21

Additional Information:

Permitted burns in Washington state are shared on this Department of Natural Resources website: burnportal.dnr.wa.gov. You can also visit dnr.wa.gov/Wildfires to determine whether it’s a pre-planned burn.

Location:

West Clallam County

Date Range:

9/27/21 - 12/31/21

Additional Information:

Permitted burns in Washington state are shared on this Department of Natural Resources website: burnportal.dnr.wa.gov. You can also visit dnr.wa.gov/Wildfires to determine whether it’s a pre-planned burn.

No Controlled Burns Scheduled

Oregon

If You See Smoke

If you are near a prescribed burn operation, you may see fire or smoke. All burning is done in cooperation with local fire officials and is weather-dependent. Smoke impacts are expected to be minimal. 

If you are unsure whether a fire is a part of a controlled effort or if you are looking for information about wildfires in your area, please check with your local fire services or use the resources below:

Alabama

The Alabama Forestry Commission website includes current wildfire information, fire weather resources and prescribed burn information: forestry.alabama.gov

Florida

The Florida Forest Service website includes current wildfire conditions, an interactive wildfire and controlled burn authorization map and additional fire-related information: fdacs.gov/Divisions-Offices/Florida-Forest-Service

Georgia

The Georgia Forestry Commission website includes information on current wildfires, fire weather, burn permits, and an interactive fire map: gatrees.org/fire-prevention-suppression

Louisiana

The Department of Agriculture & Forestry features a fire danger map, daily fire weather and guidance on prescribed burns: ldaf.state.la.us/forestry/protection

Oklahoma

Oklahoma Forestry Services reports on wildland fires, fire weather and fuel conditions, burn bans and more at forestry.ok.gov/wildfire-information.

Oregon

The Oregon Department of Forestry website maintains information on fires statewide, including a map of active wildfires: oregon.gov/odf/fire/pages/firestats.aspx

South Carolina

The South Carolina Forestry Commission reports on wildfires, burning notifications, burn bans and legal information relating to fires at state.sc.us/forest/fire.htm.

Texas

TXWRAP is Texas Forest Service's interactive online map showing wildfire data: texaswildfirerisk.com

Texas A&M Forest Service uses this online hub to track fire risk, wildfires, burn bans and preparedness information: tfsweb.tamu.edu

Washington

Information on permitted burns in Washington state will be shared on this Department of Natural Resources website: burnportal.dnr.wa.gov 

For a map of active wildfires throughout Washington state, use this Department of Natural Resources website: fireinfo.dnr.wa.gov

Controlled Burns as a Silvicultural Tool

Prescribed fire demonstrates good stewardship from a management perspective

A controlled burn operation showing how a site is improved for planting.

There are many ways fire benefits the forest beyond wildfire prevention:

  • At planting time, fire is used to eliminate competing vegetation, allowing baby trees to take root.
  • Fire breaks down debris and returns nutrients to the soil, providing what is needed to nourish the forest.
  • Controlled burning eliminates certain diseases in the forest, such as brown spot needle blight in longleaf pines.
  • Burning supports a healthy wildlife population by opening areas for feeding and travel and allowing space for different plant species to grow, such as herbs and legumes.

You can read more about the benefits of prescribed fire in this article by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Your Safety Comes First

When fire does break out in our communities, the safety of our employees and contractors, firefighters and the public comes first. Depending on the location of wildfires and risk of fire breaking out on or near our properties, we may limit access to them. Please use our interactive access map at this link to view your area and determine whether there are closures.