BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — If conditions remain favorable, fuels specialists on the Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District plan to burn an additional 445 acres on Wednesday, about five miles southwest of Pine Mountain. The Sisters Ranger District plans to continue ignitions on the 364 acres located six miles south of Sisters.
The 445 acres slated for ignition near Pine Mountain are adjacent to the 180-acre prescribed burn completed Tuesday. These two prescribed burns are being conducted to reintroduce fire into a naturally fire-adapted ecosystem. The reintroduction of fire reduces fuels to protect wildlife habitat from future wildfires while retaining vegetation at biologically sustainable levels. While no road closures are anticipated, some OHV trails in the area will be closed.
If conditions remain favorable, the Sisters Ranger District will continue ignitions on the 364 acres of prescribed fire about six miles south of Sisters at the junction of Forest Service Road 16 (Three Creek Road) and FSR 1514 (Pole Creek Road). Ignitions could last through Thursday.
Temporary trail closures on the Peterson Tie Trail are in place starting a half-mile south of the Whychus Creek Scenic Overlook extending to FSR 1514. Trail users should use alternative routes until prescribed fire signs are removed from the trail. No road closures are anticipated; however, smoke signage will be present along FSR 16 and FSR 1514 and drivers are asked to slow down, turn on headlights and use caution for firefighters working along the roadway.
Firefighters will mop up and monitor the prescribed burns for the next several days to ensure fire lines are secure.
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 http://www.centraloregonfire.org/ or visit www.fs.usda.gov/deschutes and follow us on Twitter @CentralORFire. For further questions contact the Deschutes National Forest at (541) 383-5300.