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About Applegater. (Jacksonville, OR) 2008-current | View Entire Issue (July 1, 2021)
1 Summer 2021 Applegater
Photo by Mikell Nielsen • applegater.org
Volume 14, No. 2
Applegate Valley Community Newsmagazine
Serving Jackson and Josephine Counties — Circulation: 13,000
Locals form prescribed burn association
BY AARON KRIKAVA
An important and powerful tool for fire
safety in our region has become a reality.
After years of dedicated, 100 percent
volunteer efforts, I and other dedicated
community members have created and
developed the Rogue Valley Prescribed
Burn Association (RVPBA).
Prescribed burning is the application
of controlled, low-intensity fire on the
landscape to reduce fuel loads, cycle
nutrients, inhibit noxious weeds, and
increase native plant growth. Controlled
burning is the most efficient, economical,
and ecological tool for land management
in our fire-adapted ecosystems. As a
wildland firefighter, I’ve seen firsthand
that water does not put out large-scale
wildfires—the use of fire does. The PBA
I’ve organized is working to put that vital
tool back into landowners’ toolboxes.
The RVPBA is a group of community
members, including local professional fire
practitioners, working together to share
equipment, knowledge, and volunteer
time to accomplish prescribed burns on
private lands. This “neighbors helping
neighbors” approach to controlled burning
has been used extensively in the Midwest
Applegate community members are part of the first prescribed burn association in Oregon.
Photo: Alan Journet.
and Southeast for decades. The first
prescribed burn association on the West
Coast was started in Humboldt County
in 2017, and the concept has expanded
quickly since then, with more than 20
California prescribed burn associations in
various stages of development. Ours is the
first PBA in Oregon!
This spring, RVPBA held two successful
community-conducted prescribed burns
on private lands in the Applegate. The
first one, on April 4, had a great turnout
with 30 attendees. Participants had the
opportunity to observe a controlled burn in
action, learn the methods and techniques
professional fire practitioners use to safely
conduct a burn, help out as part of the burn
crew if they were interested, and meet and
build relationships with their neighbors.
Everyone went away with a better idea of
how fire behaves and how it can be used
as a tool to make our communities safer
and our forests healthier. Many attendees
also left with a new relationship with
fire, shifting from one of fear to one of
The process begins when an interested
landowner contacts the PBA and plans a
site visit. A qualified fire practitioner then
meets with the landowner to do an initial
evaluation for using controlled burning
on the site. A burn plan is developed to
determine appropriate weather conditions
and resources necessary to keep the burn
contained. This is called the “prescription.”
The PBA then works with landowners
to get necessary permits from the Oregon
Department of Forestry and Oregon
Smoke Management. The long-range
See PRESCRIBED BURN, page 21
Applegate Evening Market offers
much more than merchandise
BY DIANA COOGLE
The Applegate Valley Fire District’s new engine has improved fire response capability.
Photo: Sandy Shaffer.
Meet the newest member
of the Fire District's fleet
BY SANDY SHAFFER
Yes, this new type-six white beauty is
now officially #8563 and is now responding
out of our district’s headquarters in Ruch.
The “old” 8563 vehicle is 23 years old and
has been moved to one of our district’s
other six fire stations that has fewer calls.
I talked to Captain Greg Gilbert and
our Fire Chief Mike McLaughlin about
the benefits of this new engine, and there
are many! But the biggest benefit that I
heard from both men was that this new
engine can carry five firefighters while the
older engines can only hold three! When
you need to get a team on a fire fast, you
need the whole team! In other words, this
is a fire engine for the 2020s.
Imagine having to drive a vehicle such
as a bus or a moving van up and down
your own narrow, long driveway, to and
Local Postal Customer
See AVFD FLEET, page 11
“ The camaraderie of the Ruch
community” was the impetus driving the
vision for the Applegate Evening Market,
inaugurated on May 5, 2021. Its three
organizers, Alison Hensley Sexauer, Sarah
Osborn, and James Mulhern, envisioned
a fun, family-friendly, community event,
with music, a beer garden, local vendors,
and crowds of Applegaters.
“We wanted it to be more than a farmers
market,” Alison said. “We wanted it to be
a cultural and community convening.”
That’s exactly what they got on opening
day. Hundreds of people flocked to the
Electric Gardens Flower Farm (the old
Fiasco Winery) at 8035 Highway 238.
Parents pushed toddlers in strollers.
Children played with balls. Newcomers to
the valley and old-timers shared greetings.
Shoppers chose vegetable starts from Feral
Farm, tried on African-fabric wrap-around
skirts by Tali Threads, picked up some
bright orange carrots or a bag of greens,
bought soy candles or a McKee Bridge
T-shirt or a whimsical hat or a lavender
wreath. Neighbors chatted with neighbors
Naphtali Shannon Riley of Tali’s Threads
shows off one of her offerings.
Photo: Diana Coogle.
in front of booths, and revelers drinking
cider from Blossom Bar Cidery listened
See EVENING MARKET, page 2