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Fire Alert

66-acre prescribed burn planned Wednesday in Shevlin Park

Map of planned 66-acre burn in Shevlin Park NW of Bend
U.S. Forest Service
Map of planned 66-acre burn in Shevlin Park NW of Bend

Park to be closed during operations; smoke will be highly visible in Bend, linger on westside, in Tumalo

 BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Fuel specialists with the Deschutes National Forest, in coordination with the Bend Park and Recreation District, plan to conduct prescribed fire operations Wednesday in Shevlin Park on the northwest side of Bend.

The park will be closed during operations, and smoke from the burn will be highly visible to residents of Bend. Signage will be in place to inform park visitors about the fire and park closure. Park district staff will also be on-site at key trailheads to alert anyone about the fire and closure.  The park will reopen once it is deemed safe.

Specialists will underburn 66 acres within the park. The prescribed fire area is located near Fremont Meadow. Ignitions will occur only on Wednesday and will begin at approximately 10 a.m. and should end by 5 p.m.

Smoke and residual burning will be visible in the area for up to a week post-ignition. Subdivisions and neighborhoods on the west side of Bend can expect some nighttime and early morning smoke impacts after the burn.  Residents in Tumalo also can expect nighttime and early morning smoke impacts as evening cooling will bring smoke down through the Tumalo drainage.

In addition to meeting forest restoration objectives by introducing fire into a Ponderosa pine ecosystem, this prescribed burn is occurring within the wildland-urban interface of Bend. "Prescribed burning is an important preventative step in reducing potential impacts of a wildfire to Bend, Shevlin Park and critical transportation corridors," Forest Service officials said.

The public can find an interactive map of prescribed burns, as well as air quality information at this link: https://www.centraloregonfire.org/wildfire-smoke-air-quality-maps-2/  If the public wants to sign up for text alerts about prescribed fires and wildfires they should text COFIRE to 888-777.

The public can learn more about BPRD’s fire management efforts at: https://www.bendparksandrec.org/about/maintenance/fire-management/.

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 and BPRD, the agencies 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: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/Preparedness/Prepare/Pages/PrepareForWildfire.aspx#health  

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