If conditions remain favorable, firefighters on the Deschutes National Forest are planning ignitions south of Bend on Thursday and Friday.
On Thursday, May 10, firefighters are planning ignitions on the 121 acre South Bend 446 unit located south of China Hat, approximately one mile south of the Lost Tracks Golf course and Woodside Ranch. On Friday, firefighters are planning ignitions on South Bend 137. The 250 acre unit is adjacent to Back Nine Golf course and will be visible from China Hat road.
Burning in these units is designed to decrease hazardous fuels accumulations within the Wildland Urban Interface near to the city of Bend and surrounding values at risk to reduce the risk of high intensity wildfire as well as reintroducing fire into a fire adapted ecosystem.
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 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: https://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.
Keep up with prescribed burns in Central Oregon by visiting this live map: https://www.fs.fed.us/r6/webmaps/deschutes/cofms-rxfire/
For Central Oregon Fire Information, please call 541-316-7711 or keep up-to-date on fire activity by following us on Twitter at @CentralORFire.