Nature Conservancy plans burn near White City

The Nature Conservancy is planning a prescribed burn on its Agate Desert Preserve in White City between Friday, Sept. 30, and Saturday, Oct. 8. The burn site is northwest of the intersection of Table Rock Road and West Antelope Road.

If weather and fuel conditions allow, the burn will cover 50 acres. Burns will occur in the late afternoons and early evenings.

The burns are designed to restore ecologically healthy conditions to native mounded prairie and vernal pool habitats. Two federally listed endangered native plant species and the threatened vernal pool fairy shrimp are found at the preserve. The site includes some of the most intact native prairie and vernal pool habitat in the Rogue Valley, and contains more than 200 native plant species.

The burn will be supervised by The Nature Conservancy, with assistance from professional fire crews under permits from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and Fire District No. 3.

"We plan to minimize the smoke and any other impacts on the surrounding community," said Darren Borgias, southwest Oregon program director for The Nature Conservancy, in a press release. "We've alerted our neighbors about the planned burn, and we'll start only if specific conditions for weather and the sites are met. Public health and safety are our number one consideration."

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