KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – Klamath County Public Health (KCPH) officials today announced new communication plans related to prescribed burns in the region.
“We’ve toured the county asking local residents how they would like to receive information and how best to communicate with them,” said KCPH Director Jennifer Little. “With the wildfires our region has seen in recent years, the mere sight of smoke scares some people. We are working with our partners to learn of planned prescribed burns and to get the information out to the community.”
The season’s first prescribed burn is set for Sunday and Monday in the Gerber Ranch and Wilson Lake area. Smoke may be expected in Langell Valley and Bonanza.
Little indicated the US Forest Service projected the burn to be about 175 acres, which would fall under KCPH’s first tier of the new communication plan. The levels include:
• Level 1- simple, small, low-risk prescribed fire. Basic notifications to occur on geographic information systems (GIS) map and KCPH website only. Information will be posted two days in advance
• Level 2- large enough that could cause people to be worried and potentially call dispatch. All notification channels: Facebook, the KCPH website, GIS map on the KCPH website, through the email Health Alert Network, including media partners, Civic Alert announcements, and hard-copy flyers to rural post offices and other community gathering places, such as clean air spaces, places frequented by the houseless population and employers of outdoor workers. Information will be released two days in advance.
• Level 3- intrusion likely or currently occurring. All notification channels used in Level 2. Information published as soon as possible. KCPH will specifically ask partners to re-post the message.
Prescribed burn information will be available at https://www.klamathcounty.org/1243/AQI-Protect-Yourself-from-Wildfire-Smoke. A link to the GIS map is available on that page, or it can be accessed at https://arcg.is/nSz8n.
Subscription to the Health Alert Network is available by sending an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Civic Alert announcement subscriptions are available by visiting https://www.klamathcounty.org/list.aspx#agendaCenter and selecting “Air Quality” under “News Flash”. Contact methods for the news flash include email and text. Individuals can select either or both options.
“We’ve spent an entire year learning about the community and seeking to best serve local residents,” said Little. “Communication is an area where we want to constantly improve. We want everyone in Klamath County to know we are here to serve them and ensure they receive the best information.”