SISTERS, Ore. (KTVZ) -- If conditions remain favorable, Sisters Ranger District fuels specialists plan to start pile burning operations in the Melvin Butte area about eight miles south of Sisters and 15 miles west of Bend.
Ignitions are tentatively planned to start next Monday, continuing throughout the week if cooler temperatures and increased moisture persists. When ignitions are complete, firefighters will mop up and patrol piles for several weeks.
Smoke may be visible from the greater Sisters area, as well as, Highway 20 between Sisters and Bend. No closures are anticipated with this pile burning. If smoke drifts on to roads, motorists should slow down, turn on headlights, and proceed with care.
Fire management officials work with Oregon Department of Forestry smoke specialists to analyze weather conditions and anticipated smoke dispersion to determine burn dates.
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.
The Melvin Butte Vegetation Management Project was designed and implemented to maintain and restore forest resiliency and forest health, provide habitat for interior forest species such as the Northern spotted owl, and reduce the potential for large-scale wildfire. Over 4,000 acres have been or are in the process of being treated within the project area.
For prescribed fire information, visit centraloregonfire.org or follow @CentralORfire on Twitter. For current Central Oregon Fire Precaution Information call 1-800-523-4737.