Controlled burn to aid Agate preserve

MEDFORD — The Nature Conservancy is planning a prescribed burn on its Agate Desert Preserve in White City between today and Saturday, Oct. 8. The burn site is northwest of Table Rock Road and West Antelope Road.

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

The burn will be supervised by The Nature Conservancy, with assistance from 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 of The Nature Conservancy.

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

"These plants are adapted to fire, and it's great to see them thrive when we bring fire back to their habitats in a carefully controlled way," said Borgias.

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