Smoke impacts may delay travel on Finley Butte Road, Forest Service says
La PINE, Ore. (KTVZ) — Deschutes National Forest fuels specialists plan to conduct prescribed burns totaling about 600 acres five miles east of La Pine this Wednesday and Thursday, officials said.
Fuels specialists will underburn along the north side of Forest Service Road 22 (Finley Butte Road), between FSR 9750 and FSR 2215. Ignitions will begin around 10 a.m. both days. The units will be monitored and patrolled following ignitions and into the weekend.
During operations, smoke will be visible from La Pine and the surrounding area, including subdivisions east of town such as Newberry Estates.
Due to expected smoke impacts along FSR 22 (Finley Butte Road), traffic control measures, like flaggers or pilot cars may be in use. People travelling on Finley Butte Road on those days may experience delays. Residents can expect nighttime and early morning smoke impacts following the burn.
The objective of this prescribed burn is to reduce fuel loadings in Ponderosa pine stands that have been treated as part of the Ogden Landscape Vegetation Management Project. This will allow fires to burn with less intensity and reduce the potential impacts of a wildfire coming into the La Pine community.
Previous prescribed fire and fuels reduction work in the Ogden Landscape Management Project that were implemented in 2018 helped last year to slow and eventually stop the spread of the Rosland Road Fire.
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