Fire managers plan to burn slash piles and juniper jackpots on the Crooked River National Grassland starting Tuesday, December 11 and working through the weekend as weather conditions allow.
Tuesday morning, firefighters plan to burn 22 acres of slash piles at Rimrock Springs Wildlife Area, about 9 miles southeast of Madras along Highway 26. No trail closure is anticipated but light smoke will be visible from the highway.
Plans also call for burning 150 acres of juniper jackpots in the Willow Creek Canyon area, just south of Rimrock Springs. The juniper piles are leftover from a large thinning project in the Willow Creek watershed to remove junipers and restore range conditions and water availability.
This type of prescribed fire, known as “jackpot burning,” addresses high concentrations of naturally-occurring or thinning-related downed woody debris. Burning these units will improve critical winter range for big game and provide better summer grazing conditions while reducing hazardous fuel loading to lower the risk of large-scale wildfire across the landscape.
Jackpots may smolder, burn, and produce smoke for several days after ignition. Once ignited, units are monitored by firefighters until they are declared out.
Fuels specialists follow policies outlined in the Oregon Department of Forestry smoke management plan, which governs prescribed fires (including jackpot burning) and attempts to minimize impacts to visibility and public health.