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Prescribed burning continues Wednesday west of Bend near the Cascade Lakes Welcome Station and in the Metolius Basin

Burn west of Welcome Station
C.O. Fire Management Service
Burn underway Tuesday west of the Cascade Lakes Welcome Station
Prescribe burn west of Welcome Station 5-14
Deschutes National Forest
Tuesday's burn is planned in the area mapped as WS 8, west of the Cascade Lakes Welcome Center
Welcome Station prescribed burn COFMS 5-14
C.O. Fire Management Service
Smoke from the Welcome Station 8 prescribed burn was visible across wide area Tuesday, May 14th

(Update: Burn operation concluded for the day, to continue Wednesday)

Ignitions may continue Wednesday; Cascade Lakes Highway, area trails affected

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) Firefighters on the Deschutes National Forest conducted hundreds of acres of prescribed burning Tuesday and plan to continue doing so on Wednesday in two areas, west of Bend near the Cascade Lakes Welcome Station and in the Metolius Basin north of Sisters.

Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District firefighters plan to continue prescribed burn operations a mile west of Bend near the Cascade Lakes Welcome Station on Wednesday. If conditions are favorable, ignitions will occur on up to 412 acres just west of the Cascade Lakes Welcome Station and north of the Cascades Lakes Highway.

Firefighters plan to begin ignitions around 9 a.m. on Wednesday on the Welcome Station Units 6/7 Prescribed Burn. Smoke once again will be visible from Bend and the surrounding area.

Residents in Bend, Sunriver, La Pine and those south and east of the Deschutes River are encouraged to keep doors and windows closed to minimize smoke impacts. The Cascade Lakes Highway will likely have some smoke impacts.

The westbound lane of the Cascade Lakes Highway may continue to be closed for firefighter and public safety. A pilot car will again escort traffic through the area if needed. Drivers can expect some delays.

COD will remain closed from the Cascades Lakes Welcome Station west to the junction with Forest Service Road 246. The closure on Ticket to Ride will expand from the Cascade Lakes Welcome Station west and north to the junction with COD Green. Voodoo Child will be closed at the intersection with Grand Slam.

Trails will be closed during operations and are anticipated to last up to a week after ignitions. Firefighters will reopen the trails once they assess conditions and determine the area is safe.

Meanwhile, the Sisters Ranger District plans to conduct 40 acres of prescribed burning in the Metolius Basin between Riverside Campground and the Camp Sherman Post Office west of Forest Service Road 14.

The public is asked to avoid the Upper River Trail between Riverside Campground north to the Camp Sherman Post Office. Campsite 16 within the Riverside Campground will be closed for up to three days following ignitions due to operations in the area.

Ignitions on the Met-WUI 28 Prescribed Burn are planned for 8:45 a.m. on Wednesday. Smoke will be visible in the Metolius Basin, Sisters and surrounding areas. Residents in Camp Sherman and the surrounding area could experience smoke impacts overnight and in the early morning hours. Residents in these areas are encouraged to keep doors and windows closed to decrease smoke impacts.

No prescribed burn ignitions are planned on Wednesday for the Crescent Ranger District.

Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District firefighters conducted prescribed burn operations Tuesday on more than 200 acres near the Cascade Lakes Welcome Station, bringing a smoke plume visible over a wide area, along with some road and trail impacts.

After a successful test fire, ignitions occurred on up to 209 acres just west of the Cascade Lakes Welcome Station and directly adjacent to the Cascades Lakes Highway, on the north side of the roadway.

Smoke was visible from Bend, Sunriver, La Pine & the surrounding areas. Firefighters transitioned to mop-up securing the perimeter of the burn by cooling hot spots along the perimeter.

The prescribed burn is within the West Bend Project area and received thinning and mowing to reduce vegetation loading prior to burning. Prescribed burning reintroduces and maintains fire within a fire-dependent ecosystem helping to stabilize and improve the resiliency of forest conditions while increasing public and firefighter safety. Once firefighters ignite prescribed burns, they patrol the units until they declare the burn out.

This prescribed burn is occurring within the Central Oregon Landscape, one of 21 focal landscapes identified within the Forest Service’s Wildfire Crisis Strategy. The implementation of this prescribed burn supports the Deschutes National Forest’s commitment to addressing the Wildfire Crisis Strategy, which aims to reduce severity of wildfires, protect communities, and improve the health and resiliency of fire-dependent forests.

Prescribed burns can protect homes from tragic wildfires, the Forest Service notes. Fire management officials work with Oregon Department of Forestry smoke specialists to plan prescribed burns. Prescribed burns are conducted when weather is most likely to move smoke up and away from our communities. While prescribed fire managers take significant preventive measures, it’s likely that communities may experience some smoke during or immediately after a prescribed burn. 

What does this mean for you?

During prescribed burns, smoke may settle in low-lying areas overnight.

  • All residents are encouraged to close windows at night to avoid smoke impacts
  • When driving in smoky areas, drivers should slow down, turn on headlights and turn air to recirculating
  • If you have heart or lung disease, asthma, or other chronic conditions, ask your doctor about how to protect yourself from smoke
  • Go to to learn more about smoke safety and prescribed burning in Central Oregon

For more information on prescribed burning in Central Oregon, visit and for information specific to the Deschutes National Forest visit Follow on X/Twitter @CentralORFire. Text “COFIRE” to 888-777 to receive wildfire and prescribed fire text alerts.

Article Topic Follows: Fire Alert

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