Central Oregon – Three burns are planned for today as long as conditions remain favorable-the largest is South Bend 137 adjacent to Lost Tracks Golf Course.
Ignitions are planned for 10:00 a.m. on the 286 acre South Bend unit as well as the 149 acre SAFR 136 unit approximately 5 miles southwest of Sisters near Forest Road 1505. Additionally, firefighters on the Crescent Ranger District are planning to ignite Bee 13 & 14 south of Crescent and approximately 3 miles northeast of the Highway 97/58 junction. No closures are expected with any of these burns although smoke may be visible from state highways and nearby Forest Roads.
If conditions remain favorable on Tuesday, firefighters are planning to ignite a prescribed burn west of Bend in West Bend COD units 1 & 8 for a total of 234 acres. Those units are within the Phil’s Trailhead system and will include a portion of Marvin’s Garden, which will be closed during ignitions and likely for a few days while firefighters cool hot spots along the trails. Also on Tuesday, firefighters on the Sisters Ranger District will continue burning in SAFR, a collection of units approximately 2.5 miles southwest of Sisters off of Forest Road 1505, with units 135 for 114 acres. As with other burns in the SAFR unit area, burning in this area is meant to reduce hazardous fuels within the wildland urban interface and reintroduce low intensity fire to a fire adapted ecosystem.
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. 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: https://www.centraloregonfire.org or text “COFIRE” to 888-777 to receive text alerts.
For more information, visit the Deschutes website at www.fs.usda.gov/deschutes and follow us on twitter @CentralORFire.