For Release: April 25, 2022
La Pine, Ore—Beginning tomorrow, fuels specialists with the Deschutes National Forest will begin doing prescribed burns near Hole in the Ground in northern Lake County. If weather conditions remain favorable the work will continue through Thursday.
The burns will be located approximately 1-2 miles southwest of Hole in the Ground along both sides of Highway 31 between milepost 24 to 27. Fuel specialists plan on burning about 1,200 acres during the week. Generally, ignitions will begin between 9-10 a.m. each day.
Following the ignitions, firefighters will monitor all prescribed burn activities until they are declared out.
Smoke will be visible from Highway 31 and the Fort Rock Valley throughout implementation of the prescribed burns. Smoke impacts to the highway are expected to occur and flagging/pilot car operations will begin when smoke conditions warrant. Delays are possible during pilot car operations. No road closures around the burn area are planned, but please use caution if smoky conditions exist.
Smoke may impact residences in the Fort Rock Valley, particularly during the overnight hours. Overnight smoky conditions are likely to persist into the weekend.
The purpose of these prescribed burns is to reduce fuel loadings in ponderosa pine stands that have previously burned. These prescribed burns will reduce the build-up of fuels, improve breaks in fuel continuity and maintain the units in conditions that are characteristic for the vegetation type. Reduce fuel loadings will allow fires to occur with less intensity, will stabilize and improve the resiliency of the forest condition, and improve safety of the public and firefighters.
Personnel from the Fremont-Winema National Forest and Oregon Department of Forestry assist with the prescribed burns.
The public can find an interactive map of prescribed burns as well as air quality information at this link: https://centraloregonfire.org/wildfire-smoke-air-quality-maps-2/
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