If conditions remain favorable, fire managers on the Sisters and Crescent Ranger District are planning to ignite prescribed burn on Tuesday, May 1 with ignitions beginning as early as 10:00 a.m.
The burn on the Sisters District is scheduled for tomorrow, approximately 2 ½ miles west of Sisters, and ½ mile west of the Tollgate subdivision. The burn unit (SAFR NE 231) is 95 acres and should be completed in one day. Burning in this unit is designed to decrease hazardous fuels accumulations within the Wildland Urban Interface near to the city of Sisters and surrounding communities to reduce the risk of high intensity wildfire as well as improving wildlife habitat.
On the Crescent District, firefighters are planning several prescribed burns this week with two units tomorrow, totaling 143 acres. The RP 4070, 4075 and Nina 45 units are located approximately 13 miles southwest of Crescent along Forest Road 9751, south of Highway 58 and west of Highway 97. Burning is likely to continue through the week if conditions remain favorable in Nina units 39, 38, 44, 43 and 42 in the same location. These units fall within the Greater La Pine Basin Cohesive Strategy Project, a partner driven forest restoration project that aims to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire across public and private forested lands. The project was funded by the Joint Chiefs Landscape Restoration Initiative, which is a partnership between two USDA agencies – Natural Resources Conservation Service and the U.S. Forest Service – that reduces wildfire risk on both public and private forests in at-risk communities across the nation.
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 these projects. 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/