Fire atop Skinner Butte raises fireworks concern in Eugene



(Originally posted on The Register-Guard on July 2, 2024 – Photos from Eugene Springfield Fire Department and Eugene Parks and Open Space)

By Haleigh Kochanski

A half-acre brush fire erupted at the top of Skinner Butte in Eugene early Tuesday morning and fire officials think it may have been caused by fireworks.

According to the Eugene Springfield Fire Department, firefighters were called to the butte at 12:15 a.m. where they worked quickly to contain a fire estimated at half an acre. It took first responders about two hours to fully extinguish hot spots.

The site of the fire had just undergone vegetation management by Eugene Parks and Open Space in partnership with the Eugene Rotary Club and Twin River Charter School.

On June 24, workers trimmed grasses in the area, which Eugene officials say likely reduced the intensity of Tuesday’s fire.

“This timely action underscores the importance of ongoing maintenance and hazard reduction in preserving the safety of our natural areas,” Kelly Shadwick, spokesperson for Eugene Parks and Open Space, said in a news release.

According to Shadwick, fuel mitigation efforts at the park have focused on removing non-native shrubs and small trees that have invaded a significant portion of the natural area, increasing the risk of a damaging fire.

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