Fire managers on the Ochoco National Forest plan to take advantage of recent warm, dry weather to implement two prescribed burn projects north of Big Summit Prairie beginning Tuesday and continuing through the week.
Pending favorable weather, firefighters plan to ignite 144 acres of juniper jackpots and a 157-acre understory burn along Forest Service Road 22, just north of Big Summit Prairie, about 40 northeast of Prineville, Ore.
Locations of the units can be found online. The understory burn unit is titled HEJ Block 5 on the map: https://www.centraloregonfire.org/what-is-prescribed-fire/when-where-prescribed-fire-smoke/
The goals for the prescribed burns are to improve wildlife habitat and to remove hazardous fuels, which will reduce wildfire danger, protect nearby homes, and allow for a safer response to wildfires by wildland firefighters. Removing hazardous fuels promotes a landscape more resilient to wildfire and is in keeping with ongoing local efforts under the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy.
Ignitions are expected to last two to three days. During active burning, smoke will be very visible in the area of Big Summit Prairie. Smoke is expected to lay down in low-lying areas during the morning hours. No road closures are anticipated.
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.