With the beginning of spring open burn season on Monday, the City of Ashland Parks Department will be conducting a controlled burn of brush piles above Lithia Park.

With the beginning of spring open burn season on Monday, the City of Ashland Parks Department will be conducting a controlled burn of brush piles above Lithia Park.

The piles are located below Glenview Drive at the intersection of Fork Street and south along Glenview to the swimming reservoir.

The piles were made recently as part of the City's ongoing efforts to control wildfire hazards near homes and the watershed.

Thinning and burning of vegetation are often used as a method to manage wildfires and to increase forest health in the City and the Ashland watershed, according to city officials. Both the Siskiyou Fire last fall and the Lithia Fire in July 2007 were contained due in part to prior fuels reduction work, according to a City of Ashland press release.

Parks Department employees will conduct the burn under a permit from Ashland Fire & Rescue. Some piles with green material will be left to cure until next year, but do not pose a fire threat to homes in this location, fire officials believe.

Open burning in the City limits must meet strict standards for safety and air quality, and wildfire fuels reduction and noxious weed management are the only activities where open burning is allowed in the City of Ashland. Such burns are allowed only with a permit from Ashland Fire & Rescue.

Due to the daily changes in weather, the exact date of the burn isn't known at this time, but Parks Department staff will be monitoring conditions starting Monday.

For information call the Ashland Parks Department at 541-488- 5340 or Ashland Fire & Rescue at 541-552-2066.