We share our community’s concerns regarding health, visibility, and livability related to smoke produced by prescribed fires. And we know that prescribed burns are a critical step in forest restoration. Research shows that in addition to sustaining important forest ecosystem functions, prescribed burning significantly reduces the likelihood of wildfires, the kind that means danger for our communities and hazardous air for weeks at a time, similar to what we experienced this summer.
As temperatures decline and humidity levels rise, the Fall prescribed burning season will begin to take shape across various portions of the Deschutes National Forest this week. Prescribed burns make our forests more resilient, create homes for a diversity of wildlife, and keep our community safer from future wildfire.
With the cooler, wetter, weather, fire managers will continue pile burning on the Deschutes National Forest beginning Saturday. The piles are leftover accumulations of woody material associated with previous vegetation management activities near numerous subdivision and roads. Removing these dense accumulations of fuel near homes, facilities and roads will create defensible space around communities.
Beginning today and continuing through next week, fire managers will ignite 1,100 acres of slash piles around La Pine (Ponderosa Way), near: Huntington/Vandevert Road, Fall River Fish Hatchery, Big River Campground and Boundary Road; Sunriver area near: Sunriver Airport and along Highway 97 from Sunriver to State Recreation Road; and Bend area, near: Deschutes River Woods and Lava River Cave.
Piles may smolder, burn, and produce smoke for several days after ignition. Removing this accumulation of fuel is one of the final steps to creating a restored and healthy ponderosa pine ecosystem and protecting communities from additional fuel loading in forested areas adjacent to private land.
Fuels specialists on the Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District will conduct a prescribed burn on two units approximately 22 miles southeast of La Pine on Wednesday, November 1, 2017. If conditions remain favorable, ignitions on the approximately 800 acres (listed on the live map as Mx2J and Mx2G) is slated to begin at 11:00 a.m. and continue through daylight hours. The prescribed burn is expected to be completed in one day.
For all prescribed fires, signs will be posted on significant nearby Forest roads and state highways that could be impacted. While there are no road closures anticipated with this burn, drivers may experience smoke impacts on nearby roads. Motorists should slow down, turn on headlights, and proceed with caution. Residences near Fort Rock and Hole in the Ground may be impacted by smoke and are advised to keep their windows and doors closed during the night hours to minimize any potential smoke impacts.
Beginning this week and continuing through the next few months depending on conditions, specialists will begin burning a variety of units across the forest. Piles may smolder, burn, and produce smoke for several days after ignition. While smoke may linger in the area, there is a real benefit to burning this type of vegetation. The piles are concentrations of leftover materials associated with previous vegetation management activities intended to remove hazardous fuels that can burn during summer wildfires.
No closures are anticipated with these operations. Once ignited, units are monitored by firefighters until they are declared out.
The Deschutes National Forest fuels specialists plan to ignite approximately slash piles along Cascade Lakes Highway near Wanoga, Mt. Bachelor and Elk Lake beginning tomorrow. Ignitions are expected to take place for the rest of the week.Smoke from these piles could be visible from Bend and could last into next week. Please do not report smoke from these slash piles. Fuels specialists continue to monitor piles until they are declared out.
If conditions remain favorable, fuels specialists on the Crescent District are planning a prescribed burn tomorrow south of Crescent and 1 mile west of the Highway 97/Highway 58 junction.
The two units slated for ignition are Nina 8 and RP 3095 and ignitions on the combined 62 acres should only take on day. No closures are associated with these ignitions.
On Saturday, fuels specialists on the Sisters Ranger District are scheduled to conduct two prescribed burns adjacent to Indian Ford Campground on either side of Indian Ford Creek. IFR units 36 and 44 are both planned for ignition for a total of 123 acres, and if conditions are favorable, these two units should be completed in one day.
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. While there are no road closures anticipated with either burn, drivers may experience smoke impacts on nearby roads. Motorists should slow down, turn on headlights, and proceed with caution.Residences and businesses near these burn areas are advised to keep their windows and doors closed during the night hours to minimize any potential smoke impacts.
Residences and businesses near these burn areas are advised to keep their windows and doors closed during the night hours to minimize any potential smoke impacts.
Fuels specialists follow policies outlined in the Oregon Department of Forestry smoke management plan, which governs prescribed fires (including pile burning) and attempts to minimize impacts to visibility and public health. Keep up with prescribed burns in Central Oregon by visiting this live map: http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/webmaps/deschutes/cofms-rxfire/, visit the Deschutes Forest Service website at www.fs.usda.gov/deschutes or follow them on twitter @CentralORFire.