(Update: Three fires had been deemed arson; no arrests)
More than 400 acres burned in Paulina Lake, Rosland Road fires last July
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – The Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District on the Deschutes National Forest is seeking public comments on plans to salvage and reforest hundreds of acres in areas burned by a pair of wildfires near La Pine last July.
The first fire, the Paulina Lake Fire, broke out on July 8 near Highway 97 and Forest Service Road 21, six miles northeast of La Pine, and was contained at 48 acres. The project proposes to reforest 14 acres.
The Rosland Road Fire began 10 days later near Newberry Estates, four miles northeast of La Pine, and was contained at 393 acres. The project proposes to salvage 197 acres of dead and dying trees and conduct post-fire reforesting with Ponderosa pines on 371 acres, with site preparation on 331 acres.
The plans include salvaging danger trees along travel routes and salvaging dead and dying trees 9-15 inches in diameter to aid in reforestation, as well as giving commercial operators a source of fuel wood and sawlog.
Forest Service law enforcement said later that month that the two fires, as well as the 45-acre Finley Fire on July 8, were suspicious and possibly arson.
They asked the public to call the Forest Service Arson Tip Line at 541-383-5717 with any information that might help.
Deschutes National Forest spokeswoman Jean Nelson-Dean told NewsChannel 21 on Thursday they "did get some good leads," as a result, and have determined the fires were human-caused and arson, but she's unaware of any arrests in connection with the blazes.