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Research from OSU busts myth that Forest Service is a major fire contributor

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Many federal agencies have ongoing public relations issues, and the Forest Service is high on the list in our region.

The agency is perceived as a frequent source of fire starts: lightning starts fires on the public forests, and the fires then spread to private lands.

Somebody should count the fires and see if that's true. Actually, the work has been done, with Oregon State University in the lead. And the findings run counter to the perception: in 22,000+ fires, ignition happened twice as often on private land, and spread to the public land. And ignition sources were more often people than lightning.

Christopher Dunn at OSU's College of Forestry and co-author Dr. Michael CaggianoResearch Associate at the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute at Colorado State University, outline the work and the findings.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. John Baxter is the senior producer, Angela Decker is the producer and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.