BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Beginning Thursday, fuel specialists with the Deschutes National Forest will conduct prescribed fire operations about six miles west of Pine Mountain and 17 miles southeast of Bend, near the junction of Forest Service roads 18 and 1825.
Specialists will underburn approximately 400 acres. Ignitions are expected to occur only Thursday, but could continue through Friday. Ignitions will occur between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day.
Smoke and residual burning will be visible in the area for up to a week post ignition. OHV trails 12 and 28 will be temporarily closed during operations. No arterial roads will be closed; however, smaller Forest Service roads in the project area will be closed for public safety during operations. Residents near the Pine Mountain area may have smoke impacts in the morning after ignitions.
The objective of the prescribed burn is to reintroduce fire into a fire-evolved ecosystem at a landscape level and to improve wildlife habitat. Forest officials said the project will provide a greater variety of forage for wildlife in the area. In addition, the goal is to reduce fuel loading and fuel connectivity (ladder fuels) with prescribed firem to reduce future rates of spread and fire behavior.
The public is encouraged to close their windows at night and if smoke is on the roadway, turn on headlights and slow down while traveling through smoky areas.
The public’s health is important to the Forest Service, the agency said. While significant preventive measures are taken, many factors influence a person’s susceptibility to smoke, including severity and duration of smoke exposure and a person’s health.
If individuals feel impacted by smoke, they should avoid outdoor physical exertion and remain indoors. If people experience serious health impacts from the smoke, they should contact their doctor. For more information about smoke and health, visit the Oregon Health Authority recommendations through this link: http://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/Preparedness/Prepare/Pages/PrepareForWildfire.aspx#health