(Update: adding video)
PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- If conditions remain favorable, firefighters plan a 28-acre "jackpot" prescribed burn about a mile south of Big Summit Prairie, near Big Springs Campgrounds east of Prineville on Friday, the Ochoco National Forest announced.
Jackpot burning is a type of prescribed burn that disposes of heavy concentration of fuels, and in this project area will specifically benefit wildlife habitat by promoting suckering of new aspen trees.
This burn is taking place in the Joint Chief’s Landscape Restoration Partnership landscape with partial funding from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. The burning is planned in advance of forecasted precipitation in the area this weekend.
This small unit was specifically chosen to remove these hazardous fuel accumulations and improve wildlife habitat, officials said.
No closures are anticipated with this operation. However, if smoke drifts on to roads, motorists should slow down, turn on headlights and proceed with care. Once ignited, units are monitored by firefighters until they are declared out.
The public’s health is important to the Forest Service. 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
Fuels specialists will follow policies outlined in the Oregon Department of Forestry smoke management plan, which governs smoke from prescribed fires (including pile burning), and attempts to minimize impacts to visibility and public health.
Keep up with prescribed burns in Central Oregon by visiting: http://www.centraloregonfire.org
For more information, visit the Ochoco website at www.fs.usda.gov/ochoco and follow us on twitter @CentralORFire.