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Several prescribed burns planned this week on Deschutes, Ochoco national forests

Prescribed burns are an important part of wildfire management
Oregon Dept. of Forestry
Prescribed burns are an important part of wildfire management

(Update: Adding Deschutes National Forest plans)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Deschutes National Forest fuels specialists plan to conduct prescribed burning on the Bend-Fort Rock, Crescent and Sisters ranger districts, starting Tuesday, if favorable conditions persist.

The Sisters Ranger District plans to conduct 364 acres of prescribed fire about six miles south of Sisters at the junction of Forest Service Road (FSR) 16 (Three Creek Road) and FSR 1514 (Pole Creek Road).

Ignitions are slated to begin Tuesday and could last through Thursday. Temporary trail closures on the Peterson Tie Trail will be in place starting a half-mile south of the Whychus Creek Scenic Overlook extending to FSR 1514. Trail users should use alternative routes until prescribed fire signs are removed from the trail.

No road closures are anticipated; however, smoke signage will be present along FSR 16 and FSR 1514 and drivers are asked to slow down, turn on headlights and use caution for firefighters working along the roadway.

The Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District plans to conduct two prescribed burns on Tuesday. Fuels specialists plan to ignite a 26-acre unit located adjacent to Pringle Falls Research Station, about six miles northwest of La Pine. Fire managers expect ignitions to be completed in one day. No road or trail closures are anticipated. Daytime flagging along Burgess Road will be implemented if reduced visibility occurs.

Additionally, Bend-Fort Rock fuels specialists plan to conduct a 180-acre prescribed burn about five miles southeast of Pine Mountain. While no road closures are expected, some OHV trails may be closed.

The Crescent Ranger District plans to conduct 57 acres of prescribed fire 12 miles southwest of Crescent and one mile southwest of the Two Rivers community. If favorable conditions exist, fuels specialists plan to ignite an additional 42 acres in the same area. Ignitions may last up to two days. No road or trail closures are anticipated. Fire officials will monitor smoke impacts to Highways 58 and 97 and utilize warning signs where necessary.

For further questions contact the Deschutes National Forest at (541) 383-5300.

Meanwhile, if weather conditions remain favorable, fuels specialists on the Ochoco National Forest plan to conduct a 255-acre prescribed burn on the west side of Big Summit Prairie and a 1,236-acre prescribed burn located three miles northeast of Sugar Creek Campground.

Fuels specialists plan to conduct the prescribed burn near Sugar Creek Campground starting Tuesday. Ignitions could take up to two days. The prescribed burn near Big Summit Prairie is slated for Thursday or Friday pending conducive weather conditions. Ignitions on this unit may also take up to two days. Firefighters will patrol and mop-up both burns for several days following ignitions with the goal of completing the burns prior to the opening of rifle elk season.

Residents in Paulina and the Paulina Valley and motorists on Hwy 380 can expect to see the prescribed burn near Sugar Creek Campground. The prescribed fire adjacent to Big Summit Prairie could be visible from Prineville and surrounding communities. Smoke could impact Forest Service Roads 42, 4210, 58 and 5820; however, no road closures or delays are anticipated.

Fuels specialists are implementing the understory burns to reduce the risk of large-scale loss of the forest ecosystem in the event of a wildlife while changing the distribution of fire regimes. Additionally, these prescribed burns increase the forest’s resistance to insects and disease and improve forage for big game animals.

Fire management officials work with Oregon Department of Forestry smoke specialists to analyze weather conditions and anticipated smoke dispersion to determine burn dates. When smoke is present, motorists should reduce speed and turn on headlights.

Officials say all efforts will be made to limit smoke impacts to area neighborhoods and communities. The possibility exists for smoke to settle in low-lying areas due to cool night-time temperatures. Residents in areas near burn operations are encouraged to close windows at night to avoid possible smoke impacts.

For more information on hazardous fuels reduction projects in Central Oregon, visit the interactive website at  or visit and follow on Twitter @CentralORFire.  For further questions contact the Ochoco National Forest at (541) 416-6500.

KTVZ news sources


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