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Deschutes County

1,000-acre prescribed burn planned this week west of Pine Mountain

Prescribed burn
KTVZ file
Prescribed burn

Some OHV trails in the area will be temporarily closed

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Beginning Wednesday, fuel specialists with the Deschutes National Forest will conduct prescribed fire operations about five miles west of Pine Mountain near the Forest Road 25 OHV Staging area for up to three days.

The plan is to underburn about 1,000 acres, with ignitions lasting up to three days. 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 10, 12, and 28 will be temporarily closed due to prescribed fire operations, the agency said. Residents near the Pine Mountain area may have smoke impacts in the morning after ignitions.

Officials said the objective of this prescribed burn is to reintroduce fire into a fire evolved ecosystem at a landscape level and to improve wildlife habitat. In addition, the goal is to reduce fuel loading and fuel connectivity (ladder fuels) with prescribed fire, 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

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