Just in time for some very cold weather, the Jackson County Fuel Committee was able to deliver firewood taken from forest thinning operations outside Ashland to about 30 low-income homes across the county.
The 14 or so cords of firewood delivered to those homes was donated wood taken from the Ashland Forest Resiliency Stewardship Project via helicopter. The project is a ten-year forest stewardship project designed to reduce wildfire risk in the Ashland Watershed.
"This was a tremendous benefit because it was all dry and small diameter. It meant a lot of it was ready to go," said Bill Jenett, Fuel Committee operations manager. "It was very timely because it's been freezing cold, and it went really fast."
Project officials estimated about one-half cord of wood was given to each home. Fuel Committee volunteers made the deliveries over the last several weeks, with the last deliveries being taken off the lot Saturday, Dec. 14.
A bulk of the deliveries went to homes where occupants are living on fixed incomes and are not able to pay for heating bills, Jenett said. With the recent cold snap, he said deliveries came at an opportune time.
"It probably saved some lives," Jenett said.
Fuel Committee volunteers will be collecting more firewood at their collection site, 995 Siskiyou Blvd. in Ashland, this week. Anyone with wood they'd like to donate or more information on the project can call the committee at 541-488-2905.
— Ryan Pfeil