Bend, Oregon – Firefighters on the Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District plan to continue prescribed burning this week.
On Monday, firefighters plan to resume prescribed burning operations five miles northeast of La Pine along Paulina Lake Road (Forest Service Road 21) near Six Mile SnoPark. If conditions are favorable, firefighters will ignite up to 173 acres starting at 9:30 a.m. Smoke will be visible from Highway 97, La Pine and Sunriver.
Intermittent smoke impacts are possible for Paulina Lake Road. Flaggers will be stationed on Paulina Lake Road and a pilot car used as needed to escort traffic. Motorists should slow down and use caution if driving in the area and watch for firefighters and firefighting equipment. No road or trail closures are anticipated. Residents in Newberry Estates subdivision may experience some smoke impacts and should plan to keep windows and doors closed.
On Tuesday, if conditions remain favorable, firefighters plan to conduct 173 acres of prescribed burning half a mile northwest of the Cascade Lakes Welcome Station and approximately one mile west of Bend. Ignitions are slated to begin around 10 a.m. Smoke will be visible from the city of Bend and surrounding areas. Flaggers and signage will be on Cascade Lakes Highway if 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 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.
These prescribed burns are occurring within the Central Oregon Landscape, one of 21 focal landscapes identified within the Forest Service’s Wildfire Crisis Strategy. The implementation of these prescribed burns support the Deschutes National Forest’s commitment to addressing the Wildfire Crisis Strategy which aims to reduce severity of wildfires, protect communities and improve the health and resiliency of fire-dependent forests.
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.