Fires regularly burned the Willamette Valley, including the Tualatin River watershed, before the arrival of white Euro-Americans. The region’s Indigenous Peoples used fire to shape the ecosystem to sustain their diverse societies and cultures. Lightning-made fires would burn unchallenged, clearing out excess fuel like dead bushes and downed branches.
Oregon is seeing more intense wildfires. These fires are a result of warmer temperatures caused by climate change and a lack of regular prescribed burning. This makes our natural areas drier and more susceptible to fire.