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Smoke near Phoenix and Talent was from private burns

I’ve seen a bunch of smoke coming from the hills over toward the Phoenix-Talent area. Is that part of the watershed burns or something else?

— Via email

What you’ve been seeing recently is smoke from private burns in the area.

“We do have a couple of big blocks we still haven’t gotten done over there,” said Chris Chambers, Ashland Fire & Rescue Forestry Division chief. “Right now we just don’t have the burn window.”

Burn windows have been tough to nail down lately for fire crews assigned to controlled burns in the Ashland Watershed. A dry February left hundreds of acres worth of brush piles unburned for weeks. Under burns, or burns that consume materials on the forest floor, were not affected.

Some recent wet weather afforded new opportunities for pile burning however, with about 60 acres worth of burns in and around Ashland taking place last weekend.

“We really needed to get those piles burned, and that was just a golden opportunity,” Chambers said.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.