SISTERS, Ore. (KTVZ) -- On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, fuel specialists will conduct prescribed burning operations about seven miles south of Sisters, adjacent to Forest Service Road 16 and near Melvin Butte.
Specialists will underburn about 197 acres on two units. Ignitions will begin at 9:30 each day. Smoke will be visible to residents of Sisters and nearby areas.
Signs will be placed on FSR 16 that will indicate to motorists to slow down because of smoke impacts. Signs also will be posted on FSR 1620. Motorists should avoid FSR 1620 between Wednesday and Friday due to smoke impacts and heavy fire traffic.
The objective of this prescribed burn is to reduce the risk of high intensity fire to the public and firefighters and to protect public and private property by producing defensible space. The prescribed fire will reduce uncharacteristically high fuel loads improving forest health, sustainability, and resiliency.
Elsewhere, fuel specialists with the Deschutes National Forest will be conducting a prescribed burn Wednesday south of Crescent, about three miles south of the Two Rivers Subdivision.
Crews will underburn about 65 acres, with ignitions planned to begin at 10 a.m. Residents can expect that smoke will be visible during operations and for about 1-2 weeks.
The objective of this prescribed burn is to reduce fuel loadings in ponderosa pine stands that are part of the Rim-Paunina project area, which is within the Walker Range Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). The Walker Range CWPP assesses the risks, hazards, and mitigation and prevention opportunities associated with wildfire in the community.
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/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 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