Bend-Fort Rock Fire Managers Plan Prescribed Burn Near Hole in the Ground
If conditions remain favorable, firefighters will ignite 1,726 acres along both sides of Highway 31
Bend, Ore— Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District fire managers will ignite 1,726 acres of prescribed fire if conditions remain favorable. The 1,726-acre unit is located 2 miles southwest of Hole in the Ground and approximately 20 miles southeast of La Pine. Prescribed burning operations will take place on both sides of Highway 31 between mileposts 24 and 27.
Ignitions are slated to begin tomorrow. Firefighters will pause ignitions through the weekend and, if conditions remain favorable, will resume next week. No road or trail closures are anticipated; however, smoke will be visible from Highway 31 and the Fort Rock Valley. Highway 31 will likely see some smoke impacts. A pilot car or flagging will occur when smoke conditions warrant additional precautions. Delays are possible during pilot car operations. Motorists driving in the area are asked to use caution and watch for firefighters and firefighting equipment.
Residual fire and smoke will be visible in the area for a few weeks following ignitions. Firefighters will monitor the prescribed burn for several days until it is declared out. Residents in the Fort Rock Valley may experience overnight smoke impacts.
Fire managers are implementing the understory burn to reduce hazardous fuels accumulation decreasing the risk of high-intensity wildfire in the area. The prescribed burn reintroduces and maintains fire within the Ponderosa pine fire-adapted ecosystem helping to stabilize and improve the resiliency of forest conditions while increasing public and firefighter safety.
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/deschutes and follow us on Twitter @CentralORFire. For further questions contact the Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District at (541) 383-5300.