Given favorable weather conditions, Deschutes National Forest fuel specialists on the Sisters District plan to conduct prescribed burns on three separate projects next week.
Two of the burns are planned for south of Black Butte Ranch and one is planned for northwest of Camp Sherman in the Metolius Basin.
A 135-acre burn, called McCache North, is planned for an area to 2 miles south of Black Butte Ranch and 1 mile north of State Highway 242.
Another 178-acre burn, called SAFR NW, will be ½ mile south of Black Butte Ranch and Graham Corral campground and 1 ½ miles southwest of State Highway 20.
An additional 167-acre prescribed burn, called 1425, will be approximately 1 ½ miles northwest of Camp Sherman/Metolius Meadows and a 1/2 mile southwest of Jack Creek campground.
Due to the size and location of all three burns, the public will see visible plumes of smoke and drivers may experience smoke impacts on nearby highways and Forest roads. For all prescribed burns signs will be posted on significant nearby Forest roads and state highways that might be impacted by the burns.
Meanwhile, forest fuel specialists on the Bend-Ft. Rock District plan to conduct two prescribed burns next week.
A 167-acre burn, called Sua, is planned for an area to 2 miles west of Sunriver, near Besson Day Use Area and boat ramp. Another 62 acre burn, called Mix 54, is planned for an area 19 miles east of La Pine, near Red Butte.
Due to the size and location of the Sua burn, the public will see visible plumes of smoke and drivers may experience smoke impacts on nearby Forest roads.
For the Sua burn, signs will be posted on Forest Service road 40 near the community of Spring River, on Forest Service road 41 located north of the burn and on Forest Service road 4180 located west of the burn. The Sua prescribed fire may create smoke impacts to Forest Service roads 40, 41, 45, and 4180.
For the Mix 54 burn, signs will be place on Forest Service roads 22 and 2240, which might be impacted by smoke.
The goal of the 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. During extensive planning of the projects, consideration always is given to potential firewood and biomass uses of the wood rather than burning.
Nearby communities and subdivisions are likely to be impacted by smoke from the prescribed burns; however, fire crews will work to burn during conditions that will limit these impacts. No road closures are anticipated with these projects.
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, visit the Ochoco/Deschutes website at www.fs.usda.gov/centraloregon