(Update: BLM pile burning planned south of La Pine)
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- With cool temperatures in place, Bend Park and Recreation District crews will be conducting small pile-burning operations in Shevlin Park between Wednesday and Dec. 15. The park remains open. The pile burning area is south of Shevlin Park Road, between the Aspen Bridge and Larch Bridge, and is signed.
The pile-burning efforts are focused on reducing woody debris to help restore aspen trees and included in the park’s vegetation management plan. The plan aims to maintain forest health and decrease the potential negative effects of a severe wildfire in Shevlin Park.
Piles are about the size of a campfire and each pile should be burned in a day or two, although some smoldering may be present for a few days. Since pile burning is weather-dependent, the burn dates may be extended if needed. Once the burning is completed, signage will be removed.
During the active pile-burning period, nearby residents and park visitors may see and smell smoke. People are encouraged to keep their doors and windows closed during the burning to reduce impacts from smoke.
District staff will monitor the area for several days following the operations.
More information on the park district’s fire management is here.
Meanwhile, the Prineville BLM is planning on burning 269 acres of piles in the Outback project area, about 8 miles south of La Pine and on the east side of Highway 31. Smoke from these piles may be visible from Highway 31. Crews plan to begin burning Thursday and hope to complete the project in two days.
The piles are concentrations of leftover materials from previous thinning projects designed to remove hazardous fuels that can burn during wildfires. Where possible, material was first offered for firewood, commercial sale, or biomass use; with some remaining material scattered to rehabilitate sites and close user-created routes.
All prescribed burning is highly dependent on favorable temperature, moisture and wind conditions. Each of these prescribed burns will only be started when the conditions are right to meet the objectives of the burn, while minimizing smoke impacts to any nearby communities.
All prescribed burn areas will be patrolled during and following ignitions. Prescribed burns are completed in cooperation with the Oregon Department of Forestry smoke management plan. In addition, fire and fuels managers are working closely this year with air quality and public health authorities on prescribed burns due to COVID-19.