Due to the precipitation that’s predicted on Thursday, and cooling temperatures predicted to start next week, the Lookout Mountain Ranger District has decided to take advantage of current warm weather to start the Canyon 66 prescribed burn tomorrow, rather than Wednesday. Pending favorable weather conditions, and appropriate fuel consumption measured by a test burn tomorrow morning, firefighters plan to begin ignitions within the Canyon 66 unit around 1030 am tomorrow and continue until around 5 pm.
Firefighters will be stationed in and around the burn unit to assist visitors and prevent people from entering the operational area. Forest Service Road 22 will remain open, but other roads within the unit will be temporarily closed to entry during active ignitions. Smoke will be present and visible in the immediate area during ignitions and is expected to settle at lower elevations at night. Residents in the immediate area, and as far west as Ochoco Reservoir, are expected to experience the smokiest conditions at night.
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: 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.