Bend, Ore— Beginning tomorrow, fuel specialists with the Deschutes National Forest will conduct prescribed fire operations south of Crescent, Ore. about 3 miles northeast of the U.S. Highway 97 and Oregon Route 58 junction.
Crews will underburn approximately 217 acres across two units with ignitions lasting two days. Ignitions will begin around 10 a.m. both days depending upon weather conditions. Crews will be monitoring the burn for several days following completion.
Smoke may be visible from U.S. Highway 97 before the junction with Oregon Route 58. Smoke will also be visible along Oregon Route 58 as travelers get close to the junction with U.S. Highway 97. Both roadways will be monitored for smoke impacts and warning signs will be in place where precautions may be necessary. Smoke will be visible in the area for up to two weeks post ignition.
The prescribed burn is within the Walker Range Community Wildfire Protection Plan. The goal of the burn is to reduce undesired effects of a wildfire within the area and to facilitate a low-intensity frequent fire regime. In addition, within one of the units the goal is to reduce dwarf mistletoe. Dwarf mistletoe grows “roots” into the stem of their host tree and extracts nutrients and water, slowing growth, reducing the health of the tree, and making trees more susceptible to other pests and disease.
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