Given favorable conditions, Deschutes National Forest fuels specialists on the Sisters Ranger District plan to conduct prescribed burns in two separate areas near Black Butte Ranch next week.
A 135-acre burn, called McCache North, is planned for an area 2 miles south of Black Butte Ranch and 1 mile north of Highway 242.
Another 178-acre burn, called SAFR NW, is ½ mile south of Black Butte Ranch and Graham Corral campground and 1½ miles southwest of Highway 20.
The communities of Tollgate and Crossroads as well as Black Butte Ranch could be impacted by smoke as a result these projects.
The goal of these projects is to reduce the level of fuels in forested areas, which will minimize the potential of future high intensity wildfires and improve public safety by creating defensible space.
Due to the location of these projects, the public could see visible plumes of smoke and drivers may experience smoke impacts on nearby roads. If smoke drifts onto roads, motorists should slow down, turn on headlights, and proceed with care.
Fuels specialists will follow policies outlined in the Oregon Department of Forestry smoke management plan, which governs prescribed fires, and attempts to minimize impacts to visibility and public health. For more information, please visit the "Prescribed Fires" link on the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center website, http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/centraloregon/fire/