Fire managers on the Crooked River National Grassland plan to take advantage of the warm, drier weather to prescribed burn two project areas beginning next Monday, February 5, 2018. The Juniper Springs burn is located 7 miles south of Madras, and east of Hwy. 26, and the West Mountain View project is located 6 miles west of Madras. Both projects will burn downed juniper to reduce hazardous fuel buildups, as well as improve critical winter range for big game animals.
The burns are expected to take 2 days complete, and smoke will be visible for several days after ignitions are completed. Smoke may be visible from Hwy. 26 and along the West Mountain View Road; however, no delays or impacts to travel are expected. If smoke drifts onto roads, motorists should slow down, turn on headlights, and proceed with care. Once ignited, units are monitored by firefighters until they are declared out.
Any decision to move forward with prescribed burn plans will depend on appropriate weather conditions and fuel moisture, as well as adequate staffing and public notifications. All prescribed burns have been scheduled to take advantage of the cooler temperatures, which moderates fire behavior to allow fuels specialists to remove hazardous fuels, reducing the potential for high-intensity uncharacteristic fire, while restoring low intensity fire to a fire-adapted ecosystem and improving range and forest health.
Fuels specialists follow policies outlined in the Oregon Department of Forestry smoke management plan, which governs prescribed fires (including pile burning) and attempts to minimize impacts to visibility and public health.
For more information follow us on Twitter at @CentralORFire