Central Oregon –The Deschutes National Forest is planning for continued prescribed burn operations this week, if conditions remain favorable.
The Sisters Ranger District is planning a prescribed burn near Allingham Bridge in the Metolius River area on Wednesday, October 17. The 113 acre unit (Met WUI 13) is located at the junction of Forest Service Roads 1217 and 1420 about a mile northwest of Camp Sherman. Traffic flaggers will be in place to help if smoke becomes dense on the roadways. Smoke will be visible in the Camp Sherman area and it is recommended for local residents to close windows at night since smoke can settle in the river basin during cold nighttime conditions. The project will help reduce hazardous fuels in the area, encourage western larch regeneration, and improve wildlife habitat.
The Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District is planning on continued burn operations in the vicinity of Cabin Lake and Hole in the Ground. So far this week, crews have successfully completed approximately 700 acres of prescribed burning. Firefighters plan to continue burning units Mx 2E and Mx 2F near Flat Top Butte on Wednesday and Thursday for approximately 700 additional acres. These units were previously prescribed burned in 2006 and the project will help ongoing management of reduced hazardous fuels as well as improve wildlife habitat and forest health. These ‘second entry’ prescribed fires help reintroduce and maintain the fire-adapted landscape with fire. Smoke may be visible in the Fort Rock area and along Hwy 31.
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 a live map on https://www.centraloregonfire.org/. For more information, visit the Deschutes website at www.fs.usda.gov/deschutes and follow us on twitter @CentralORFire.