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A proposed prescribed burn on a 76-acre property in the USDA's Wetlands Reserve Program is circled in bright yellow, southwest of Albany. The burn is planned sometime between Sept. 15 and Oct. 30.

A 76-acre property in the USDA’s wetland reserve program near Pirtle Drive southwest of Albany will be the site of a prescribed burn sometime between Sept. 15 and Oct. 30.

The site is 1.5 miles west of Albany and 5 miles northeast of Corvallis.

According to USDA spokesman Robert Hathorne, prescribed burns have taken place on the property in the past.

The exact address of the property is not being given since it is privately owned, but Hathorne said neighbors have been notified.

“A burn plan has been developed by the National Resources Conservation Service and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife,” he said. “It is a prescription burn which means it will not be burned unless the weather conditions are right.”

Prescribed burns are designed to reduce the potential for catastrophic wildfires, Hathorne said.

“Prescribed burns reduce the amount of dead vegetation that can lead to intense fires,” he explained. “Prescribed burns occur when wind levels are low, there is higher humidity and lower temperatures. We do not want an intense fire. We want a slow, controlled burn in a specific area.”

Hawthorne said he's seen prescribed burns of 50 acres completed in less than one hour if conditions are right.

“Prescribed burns have been shown to improve native vegetation by activating seeds and to take off dead vegetation that will allow new growth to occur,” Hathorne said.

He added that prescribed burns are also beneficial for wildlife by providing a safer, more fire-resistant landscape. Although wetland reserves feature some trees and shrubs, they are primarily grassy areas.

Hathorne said the general public benefits from wetland reserve areas through cleaner water and carbon sequestration.

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Contact Linn County reporter Alex Paul at 541-812-6114.

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