Central Oregon – Firefighters on the Bend-Fort Rock, Crescent and Sisters Ranger Districts plan to conduct prescribed burning operations on Wednesday if conditions remain favorable.
Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District firefighters plan to prescribed burn 298 acres approximately 10 miles south of Bend and five miles east of Sunriver along Forest Service Road 9720. Smoke will be highly visible from Bend and Sunriver. Sunriver and south Bend may experience some smoke impacts. Oregon Department of Transportation and flagging personnel will monitor conditions on Highway 97. This prescribed burn is within the Rocket Vegetation Management Planning area and has been previously thinned, pile burned and mowed. The fuels reduction work in this area decreases the potential for catastrophic wildfire to impact Sunriver. Firefighters may continue with ignitions in this area through the week if conditions remain favorable.
Firefighters on the Crescent Ranger District will continue prescribed burning within the Gilchrist State Forest approximately six miles southeast of Crescent and east of Highway 97. They hope to accomplish 50 acres. The prescribed burn is being conducted on Walker Range Fire Patrol-protected lands through the North Walker Cross Boundary Prescribed Fire Agreement. Forest Service firefighters will be working with Oregon Department of Forestry firefighting resources to conduct the prescribed burn operations. No road or trail closures are anticipated.
Sisters Ranger District firefighters plan to conduct a 139-acre prescribed burn approximately one and a half miles southwest of Sisters, north of Sisters Cow Camp and east of Forest Service Road 15. This prescribed burn is part of the Sisters Area Fuels Reduction Project. Trails in the area will be rerouted during operations. Smoke may impact Forest Service Road 15. Signage will be in place.
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. Once firefighters ignite prescribed burns, they monitor and patrol the units until they declare the burn out.
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.