Bend, Oregon – Firefighters on the Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District planned to conduct prescribed burn operations half a mile northwest of the Cascade Lakes Welcome Station and approximately three miles west of Bend on Monday. However, the area received significant rain over the weekend causing conditions that are too wet for effective prescribed burning operations. If conditions are favorable, firefighters hope to conduct the 173-acre prescribed burn on Tuesday.
Prescribed burning reintroduces and maintains fire within a fire-dependent ecosystem helping to stabilize and improve the resiliency of forest conditions while increasing public and firefighter safety by reducing hazardous fuels. Once firefighters ignite prescribed burns, they monitor and patrol the units until they declare the burn out.
Smoke will be visible from the city of Bend and surrounding areas. Flaggers and signage will be on Cascade Lakes Highway in the event that smoke impacts the roadway. The Tetherow and Widgi Creek communities and areas south and east of the Deschutes River may experience smoke impacts. Residents are encouraged to keep windows closed to minimize smoke impacts.
Prescribed burns can protect homes from tragic wildfires. Fire management officials work with Oregon Department of Forestry smoke specialists to plan prescribed burns. Prescribed burns are conducted when weather is most likely to move smoke up and away from our communities. Sometimes, weather patterns change, and some smoke will be present during prescribed burns.
What does this mean for you?
During prescribed burns, smoke may settle in low-lying areas overnight.
- All residents are encouraged to close windows at night to avoid smoke impacts
- When driving in smoky areas, drivers should slow down and turn on headlights
- If you have heart or lung disease, asthma, or other chronic conditions, ask your doctor about how to protect yourself from smoke
- Go to centraloregonfire.org to learn more about smoke safety and prescribed burning in Central Oregon
For more information on prescribed burning in Central Oregon, visit centraloregonfire.org/ and for information specific to the Deschutes National Forest visit www.fs.usda.gov/deschutes. Follow us on Twitter @CentralORFire. Text “COFIRE to 888-777 to receive wildfire and prescribed fire text alerts.