Prescribed Burning locations across Central Oregon
With the arrival of favorable weather conditions, fire managers on the Deschutes National Forest will begin igniting prescribed burns and pile burns across our area over the next few weeks. This will include several high-visibility burns around Sisters, Bend, La Pine, and Sunriver, Oregon.
Posted: October 19, 2021
Sisters: The Sisters Ranger District plans to conduct 364 acres of prescribed fire approximately six miles south of Sisters at the junction of Forest Service Road (FSR) 16 (Three Creek Road) and FSR 1514 (Pole Creek Road). Ignitions are slated to begin Tuesday and could last through Thursday. Temporary trail closures on the Peterson Tie Trail will be in place starting a half mile south of the Whychus Creek Scenic Overlook extending to FSR 1514. Trail users should use alternative routes until prescribed fire signs are removed from the trail. No road closures are anticipated; however, smoke signage will be present along FSR 16 and FSR 1514 and drivers are asked to slow down, turn on headlights and use caution for firefighters working along the roadway.
The Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District plans to conduct two prescribed burns on Tuesday. Fuels specialists plan to ignite a 26-acre unit located adjacent to Pringle Falls Research Station approximately six miles northwest of La Pine. Fire managers expect ignitions to be completed in one day. No road or trail closures are anticipated. Daytime flagging along Burgess Road will be implemented if reduced visibility occurs. Additionally, Bend-Fort Rock fuels specialists plan to conduct a 180-acre prescribed burn approximately five miles southeast of Pine Mountain. While no road closures are expected, some OHV trails may be closed.
The Crescent Ranger District plans to conduct 57 acres of prescribed fire 12 miles southwest of Crescent and one mile southwest of the Two Rivers community. If favorable conditions exist, fuels specialists plan to ignite an additional 42 acres in the same area. Ignitions may last up to two days. No road or trail closures are anticipated. Fire officials will monitor smoke impacts to Highways 58 and 97 and utilize warning signs where necessary.
The use of prescribed fire in Central Oregon’s fire-adapted ecosystems restores forests to healthier conditions, reduces and removes dense vegetation that contributes to high-intensity wildfires, and protects our communities.
You can find out where to expect prescribed fires in our area by using the interactive map provided by the Central Oregon Fire Info website.
The West Bend Project
Over the past couple of years, close to 1965 acres of prescribed burning has been completed in the West Bend Project area. The West Bend Project is designed to restore forest health while reducing the risk of high severity wildfire to our local community.
Smell smoke? See smoke? Here's what to do.
Due to the location of these units, the public could see smoke and drivers may experience smoke impacts on nearby highways and Forest roads. For all prescribed fires, signs will be posted on significant nearby Forest roads and state highways that could be impacted. No road closures are anticipated with these projects.
The public is encouraged to close their windows at night and if smoke is on the roadway, turn on headlights and slow down while traveling through smoky areas. The public’s health is important to the Forest Service. While significant preventive measures are taken, many factors influence a person’s susceptibility to smoke, including the severity and duration of smoke exposure and a person’s health. If individuals feel impacted by smoke, they should avoid outdoor physical exertion and remain indoors. If people experience serious health impacts from the smoke, they should contact their doctor. For more information about smoke and health, visit the Oregon Health Authority recommendations through this link: http://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/Preparedness/Prepare/Pages/PrepareForWildfire.aspx#health
Fuels specialists will follow policies outlined in the Oregon Department of Forestry smoke management plan, which governs smoke from prescribed fires (including pile burning), and attempts to minimize impacts to visibility and public health.
Completed Prescribed Burns
Posted: October 6, 2021
Fuels specialists on the Sisters Ranger District plan to continue prescribed burning in the Metolius Basin south of the Metolius Meadows community along Forest Service Road 1419 on Wednesday and Thursday if conditions remain favorable.
As conditions allow, Sisters Ranger District fuels specialists plan to implement prescribed burns throughout the month of October for a targeted total of 1,100 acres of prescribed fire. In addition to the Metolius Basin, the district plans to implement prescribed burns in units located within the Sisters Area Fuels Reduction (SAFR) project and adjacent to Highway 20. All prescribed burns are scheduled to take advantage of fall weather and preferred fuels conditions.
Pile burning differs from other forms of prescribed burn because it involves igniting by hand piles of vegetation, created during thinning or other types of fuel reduction work after the vegetation has had an opportunity to dry out. The dried vegetation in the piles burns hot and clean and does not produce the amount of smoke that understory burns (prescribed fires) produce. Understory burns are also ignited by hand, but the goal is to burn green vegetation across a broad area. Both pile and understory burning are important tools that reduce hazardous fuels and restore forests to healthier conditions.