Central Oregon – Beginning tomorrow, firefighters will be burning approximately 2,033 acres near Paulina, Oregon, two miles west of the old Rager Ranger Station on the Ochoco National Forest.
If conditions remain favorable, ignitions on the Upper Beaver 5 unit are expected to start at 9:00 a.m. May 4 and take two days to complete. Firefighters from the Ochoco National Forest and Prineville District BLM will be joined by the Prineville Interagency Hotshots. This burn will reintroduce fire into a fire adapted ecosystem, improve stand conditions for large and dominant trees and reduce the populations of western juniper throughout the unit. Smoke will likely be visible from areas within the Paulina Valley and while there are no road closures expected with this burn, smoke will impact Forest Road 58 and other nearby forest roads. Visitors should expect some delays traveling through the area. Firefighters will be cooling hot spots along the perimeter for the rest of the week and the prescribed burn will be patrolled for the next several weeks.
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.