If conditions remain favorable, firefighters on the Deschutes National Forest plan to ignite a prescribed burn off at the Rimrock Trailhead one mile west of Bend on Sunday, April 22.
Ignitions are scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m. on Rimrock Rx, a 150 acre unit south of Cascade Lakes Highway in the area formerly known as “Good Dog” off-leash dog area. This will close the off-leash area for Sunday, April 22 while burning operations are taking place although no road closures are anticipated with this burn. Reintroducing fire into this area, adjacent to Bend, will reduce hazardous fuels accumulations within the Wildland Urban Interface near Bend and reintroduce fire into a ponderosa pine ecosystem.
Additional burns are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday west of Bend if conditions remain favorable. On Monday, firefighters are planning for ignitions on Shevlin Block 9, a 77 acre unit on the north side of Skyliners Road and on Tuesday, and West Bend COD #7, a 109 acre unit immediately north of the Rimrock Trailhead area on the north side of Cascade Lakes Highway. As always, precise wind and weather conditions must be met in order to execute these burns and if conditions change, these burns will be postponed.
Due to the location of these units, the public could see smoke and drivers may experience smoke impacts on nearby highways and Forest roads. For all prescribed fires, signs will be posted on significant nearby Forest roads and state highways that could be impacted. No road closures are anticipated with this project. The public is encouraged to close their windows at night and if smoke is on the roadway, turn on headlights and slow down while traveling through smoky areas. The public’s health is important to the Forest Service. While significant preventive measures are taken, many factors influence a person’s susceptibility to smoke, including severity and duration of smoke exposure and a person’s health. If individuals feel impacted by smoke, they should avoid outdoor physical exertion and remain indoors. If people experience serious health impacts from the smoke, they should contact their doctor. For more information about smoke and health, visit the Oregon Health Authority recommendations through this link: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/Preparedness/Prepare/Pages/PrepareForWildfire.aspx#health
Fuels specialists will follow policies outlined in the Oregon Department of Forestry smoke management plan, which governs smoke from prescribed fires (including pile burning), and attempts to minimize impacts to visibility and public health.
Keep up with prescribed burns in Central Oregon by visiting this live map: https://www.fs.fed.us/r6/webmaps/deschutes/cofms-rxfire/
For more information, visit the Deschutes website at www.fs.usda.gov/deschutes and follow us on twitter @CentralORFire.