The U.S. Forest Service announced Tuesday it will pause all spring prescribed fires on national forest land in Oregon and Washington.
Prescribed fires often take place in the spring on national forest land. Frequent low-intensity fires can be important to forest health.
“We care deeply about our communities across the region and didn’t want to risk introducing smoke from prescribed fire into communities that may be affected by COVID-19,” said John Giller, Director of Fire and Aviation Management for the Pacific Northwest Region of the USDA Forest Service. “With this pause, we can better protect those who may also be in higher-risk groups for COVID-19, such as the elderly and those with underlying respiratory conditions.”