Ever since the July 3 wildland fire on Eugene’s Moon Mountain Park, members of the community have had many questions regarding the mountain’s future.
The fire consumed close to 37 acres, and the park was reopened on July 28. The area was at a level 1 evacuation that affected eight houses on Snowberry Road, Cascara Drive and Rockrose Lane. Moon Mountain is an undeveloped portion of Eugene’s Ridgeline Trail system on the north side of 30th Avenue and spans 40.3 acres of land.
Representatives from the city of Eugene led a guided hike through Moon Mountain to discuss plans for restoring the mountain. Spearheaded by Eugene Parks and Open Space ecologist Emily Steel, they gathered with members of the community and neighborhood around Moon Mountain at the top to discuss volunteer opportunities, fire preparedness and the city’s plans to replant.
Steel was accompanied by Eugene Springfield Deputy Chief Fire Marshal Travis Worthington, Eugene Emergency Management Program Manager Sierra Anderson and park ambassador Joe Waksmundski.
“We wanted to welcome people in Moon Mountain Park for a chance to see what happened here after the wildfire on July 3 and 4 and talk about the wildfire response and what happens in an emergency and what parks are going to be doing in the future to help the park,” Steel says.
Much of Moon Mountain’s flowers and trees have been scorched down to ash, with some plant life coming back. The trees on the mountain lacked branches, and the areas where plants were being replanted are delicate.
The city plans on removing dead vegetation like burnt shrubs and replanting them by around November or December, according to Steel, with the full process taking several years to complete.
Steel says of the hike, “We can explain what’s happening in the park more, and they can bring their concerns to us. It just opens those channels of communication and ultimately, in the case of a natural disaster like a wildfire, hopefully people are also more informed and more connected to city resources and they know what to do.”
The investigation into how the fire started is still ongoing.