Central Oregon – If conditions remain favorable later this week, firefighters will be burning two units totaling 625 acres near the Marks Creek community on the north side of Highway 26 on the Ochoco National Forest, approximately 20 miles northeast of Prineville.
Beginning Thursday and lasting up to three days, firefighters will ignite two prescribed burn units located between the Desolation Fire Scar (2017) and the private property boundary along the Marks Creek community. Removing hazardous fuel build-up on the forest that is adjacent to homes and associated infrastructure not only improves the forest condition but helps protect our communities. Firefighters from the Ochoco National Forest and Prineville BLM will be joined by the Alfalfa Fire District, Crook County Fire and Rescue and Sunriver Fire Department in burning these two units.
While no closures are anticipated with this burn, smoke will be visible and may impact Highway 26. Signs and flaggers will direct the flow of traffic, but visitors to the area should anticipate delays. 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.