Ochoco National Forest Plans Two Prescribed Burns This Week
If conditions are favorable, fuels specialists plan burns near Big Summit Prairie and Sugar Creek Campground
Prineville, Ore— If conditions remain favorable, fuels specialists on the Ochoco National Forest plan to conduct a 255-acre prescribed burn on the west side of Big Summit Prairie and a 1,236-acre prescribed burn located three miles northeast of Sugar Creek Campground.
Fuels specialists plan to conduct the prescribed burn near Sugar Creek Campground starting Tuesday. Ignitions could take up to two days. The prescribed burn near Big Summit Prairie is slated for Thursday or Friday pending conducive weather conditions. Ignitions on this unit may also take up to two days. Firefighters will patrol and mop-up both burns for several days following ignitions with the goal of completing the burns prior to the opening of rifle elk season.
Residents in Paulina and the Paulina Valley and motorists on Hwy 380 can expect to see the prescribed burn near Sugar Creek Campground. The prescribed fire adjacent to Big Summit Prairie could be visible from Prineville and surrounding communities. Smoke could impact Forest Service Roads 42, 4210, 58 and 5820; however, no road closures or delays are anticipated.
Fuels specialists are implementing the understory burns to reduce the risk of large-scale loss of the forest ecosystem in the event of a wildlife while changing the distribution of fire regimes. Additionally, these prescribed burns increase the forest’s resistance to insects and disease and improve forage for big game animals.
Fire management officials work with Oregon Department of Forestry smoke specialists to analyze weather conditions and anticipated smoke dispersion to determine burn dates. When smoke is present, motorists should reduce speed and turn on headlights. All efforts will be made to limit smoke impacts to area neighborhoods and communities. The possibility exists for smoke to settle in low-lying areas due to cool night-time temperatures. Residents in areas near burn operations are encouraged to close windows at night to avoid possible smoke impacts.
For more information on hazardous fuels reduction projects in Central Oregon, visit the interactive website at https://www.centraloregonfire.org/ or visit www.fs.usda.gov/ochoco and follow us on Twitter @CentralORFire. For further questions contact the Ochoco National Forest at (541) 416-6500.