Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District Plans Prescribed Burn Near Cascade Lakes Welcome Station on Tuesday

Ignitions may continue Wednesday if conditions remain favorable

Bend, Ore – Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District firefighters plan to conduct prescribed burn operations one mile west of Bend near the Cascade Lakes Welcome Station on Tuesday. If conditions are favorable, ignitions will occur on up to 209 acres just west of the Cascade Lakes Welcome Station and directly adjacent to the Cascades Lakes Highway on the north side of the roadway. Ignitions may continue in the area on Wednesday if conditions remain favorable.

Firefighters plan to begin ignitions around 9 a.m. on Welcome Station Prescribed Burn. Smoke will be visible from Bend and the surrounding area. Residents in Bend and those south and east of the Deschutes River are encouraged to keep doors and windows closed to minimize smoke impacts. The Cascade Lakes Highway will likely have some smoke impacts. The west bound lane of the Cascade Lakes Highway will be closed for firefighter and public safety. A pilot car will escort traffic through the area. Drivers can expect some delays.

Portions of Ticket to Ride and COD trails will be closed during operations with the closures anticipated to last up to a week after ignitions. Ticket to Ride will be closed from the Cascade Lakes Welcome Station west to the junction with Grand Slam and Voodoo Child. COD will be closed from the Cascades Lakes Welcome Station west to the junction with Forest Service Road 246. Firefighters will reopen the trails once they assess conditions and determine the area is safe.

The prescribed burn is within the West Bend Project area and received thinning and mowing to reduce vegetation loading prior to burning. 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 patrol the units until they declare the burn out.

This prescribed burn is occurring within the Central Oregon Landscape, one of 21 focal landscapes identified within the Forest Service’s Wildfire Crisis Strategy. The implementation of this prescribed burn 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. While prescribed fire managers take significant preventive measures, it’s likely that communities may experience some smoke during or immediately after a prescribed burn. 

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, turn on headlights and turn air to recirculating
  • 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 X/Twitter @CentralORFire. Text “COFIRE” to 888-777 to receive wildfire and prescribed fire text alerts.


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