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Portland Parks & Recreation, Portland Fire & Rescue Plan Next Prescribed Burn

News Article
Controlled Event at Whitaker Ponds Natural Area on Monday, September 25 (depending on weather)

(Portland, OR) –

Portland Parks & Recreation is partnering with Portland Fire & Rescue on an ongoing prescribed fire program that will help reduce the risk of fire, reduce the harmful effects of insects and pathogens, and improve the overall health of our park land.

The next prescribed burn will take place at Portland Parks & Recreation’s Whitaker Ponds Natural Area on Monday, September 25, 2023 (unless our area receives rain, which is forecast as possible).

Portland's Whitaker Ponds Nature Park - a view of a  pond surrounded by leafy trees on a calm day with a blue sky.

Portland Parks & Recreation’s Land Stewardship Division is working closely with community partners at the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) and Portland State University (PSU) Indigenous Nations Studies Program. Representatives from NAYA and PSU Indigenous Nations Studies Program are actively engaged at the Whitaker Ponds site.

Program Overview

Fire has always been an integral part of the health of Oregon’s ecosystems. By observing fire’s effects, people have learned that they can use it for specific results on the ground. The practice of intentional burning is called prescribed burning. Native American practitioners call it “cultural burning” when it is used to meet cultural goals. The objectives behind prescribed burning are diverse and include:

  • Improving habitat for wildlife.
  • Improving the health of forests and rangelands.
  • Reducing wildfire risk.

From our partners at the Portland Fire Bureau:

Prescribed burns allow fire crews to remove hazardous flammable material at a time of our choosing - when resources and conditions are more favorable. This decreases the chance of a larger fire in the area as things dry out over the summer. For prescribed burns in City natural areas, PF&R typically has several fire engines, ATVs, and other resources at the scene. The ATVs and some of the engines that will be utilized are specially outfitted to tackle wildland fires. Burn activity may take several hours and then crews continue to monitor the area for any heat after the blaze is extinguished.

You can find this information online at