As favorable weather conditions return to Central Oregon, fuels specialists with the Forest Service and BLM are preparing for the spring prescribed burning program.
Prescribed fires, often completed in conjunction with thinning and mowing, can reduce hazardous fuels around subdivisions. Prescribed fire is also one tool used by fire managers and ecologists to improve forest and rangeland health and protect the quality of our watersheds and wildlife habitat.
Prescribed fires are set when precise weather conditions allow for a variety of fire intensities to meet fuels reduction and natural resource objectives. Prescribed fire specialists may spend years planning a burn and work very closely with wildlife biologists, foresters, hydrologists, and other resource managers, as well as adjacent landowners, to ensure the burn meets resource needs.
Prescribed fires are ignited when predicted weather patterns and fuel conditions will minimize smoke impacts to air quality and public health. All controlled burns are completed in compliance with the Oregon Department of Forestry smoke management plan.
Specifically, the following prescribed burns are planned for this spring:
Sisters Ranger District:
As part of on-going efforts to reduce the risk of wildfire to Sisters area residents and improve forest health, fuels specialists on the Sisters Ranger District have portions of several project areas scheduled for prescribed burning this spring. These burns include:
? Metolius Basin 17, 18, 19, 20; 234 acres located ¾ mile SW of Metolius Meadows community off FS 100 road.
? Leftover 9 & 10; 282 acres in and around the Highway 20, George McAllister, and FS Road 14 junction.
? SAFR NW; portions of 1400 acres between FS Road 1008 road and FS Road 300.
? McCache North; portions of 650 acres off FS 1014 road.
Bend ? Fort Rock Ranger District:
Fuels specialists with the Bend ? Fort Rock Ranger District have portions of several project areas lined up for their spring prescribed burning program. One project, Fry, could begin as early as May 2nd and will be highly visible to Bend residents. The projects include the following:
? Fry - 107 acres; on Skyliners Road, 7 miles west of Bend
? Charlie Brown 12 - 48 acres; located on the west shore of North Twin Lake
? South Bend Units 135, 136, 138, 139, 456 ? 702 acres; South side of Bend, ½ mile west of Horse Butte
Crescent Ranger District:
If weather conditions allow, specialists hope to begin working on the Sun Forest Units as early as Monday, April 30th.
Sun Forest Units 3, 6; 155 acres located South of Hwy 31 near FS Rd 2415
Bunny Fiber Unit 32, 111 acres located South of Hwy 58 near Bunny Butte
Royal unit 5,1 80 ac. 4 miles west of Crescent Lake near the Crescent Lake Cutoff Road (Hwy 61)
Prineville District BLM:
Fuels specialists will be working on several hazardous fuels thinning projects this spring and have no burning planned at this time.
Ochoco National Forest:
If weather conditions allow, specialists hope to begin working on the East Maury?s project today.