Central Oregon – Firefighters on the Bend-Fort Rock and Sisters Ranger Districts are planning prescribed burn operations for tomorrow, Thursday, October 5, if conditions remain favorable.
The Sisters Ranger District plans to continue prescribed burning approximately two miles southeast of Sisters near the Sisters Rodeo Grounds on the west side of Highway 20 within the Sisters Area Fuels Reduction (SAFR) Project Area. Firefighters plan to begin ignitions as early as 9:00 a.m. on up to 210 acres. Smoke and flames may be visible from Highway 20. Flaggers and signage will be present and utilized as needed during operations adjacent to Highway 20. Residents in the Harrington Loop area are encouraged to keep doors and windows closed to minimize smoke impacts. Road and trail closures are not anticipated although the public is asked to use caution where fire traffic and firefighters are present.
The Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District plans to implement prescribed burning approximately 11 miles southeast of Bend and three miles northwest of the junction of Forest Service Roads 18 and 25 in the Flank Project Area. Firefighters plan to begin ignitions around 10:30 a.m. on up to 984 acres. Ignitions may occur over multiple days in this area. Trail closures will be in place on OHV Trails #20 and #25 due to prescribed burn operations. These closures are anticipated to last through the weekend.
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 supports 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.