PRINEVILLE, Ore. - As weather conditions bring more moisture, shorter days, and cooler temperatures, fuels specialists with the Forest Service and BLM will begin fall and winter prescribed burning across more than 10,000 acres of Central Oregon public lands.
Prescribed fires, in conjunction with thinning and mowing, can reduce hazardous fuels, the agencies said. Prescribed fire also is used by fire managers and ecologists to improve forest and rangeland health and protect the quality of our watersheds and wildlife habitat.
Fall and winter prescribed fire programs may include the burning of previously gathered concentrations of vegetation, known as pile burning, as well as broadcast burning, underburning, and jackpot burning, which are more widespread applications of fire across a designated area.
Prescribed fires are ignited when predicted weather patterns and fuel conditions will minimize smoke impacts to air quality and public health and are completed in compliance with the Oregon Department of Forestry smoke management plan.
Specifically, the following prescribed burns are potentially planned for this fall & winter given appropriate conditions:
Sisters Ranger District:
• Metolius Basin Research Natural Area -123 acres, 1.5 miles northeast of the Camp Sherman store and approximately 1 mile south of the Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery on the east side of Forest Road 14. Anticipated ignition date is Monday, September 16, 2013 depending upon weather. The primary purpose of the project is to use prescribed fir to continue the process of returning the area to a more historic condition. The project is an ongoing 20 year research project that is evaluating prescribed fire at intervals of 5, 10, and 20 years. The research will contribute to our understanding of dry pine forests and prescribed fire. Smoke may impact Allan Springs campground, Pioneer Ford campground and Lower Bridge campground.
• Sisters Area Fuels Reduction (SAFR) NW - up to 300 acres north and south of Highway 242, ½ mile west of Cold Springs campground
• McCache North – up to 270 acres off of Forest Road 1014 near Graham Butte
• 1425 RX – up to 250 acres off of Forest Road 1425 in the Metolius Basin near House on the Metolius
• Glaze Forest Restoration – up to 160 acres between Forest Roads 330 and 300, adjacent to Glaze Meadow
• Pile Burning: various locations throughout the district including: adjacent to Black Butte Ranch; east of Forest Road 16 between Sisters and Forest Road 4606; adjacent to the Forest Roads 1008 and 1012 junction, and ¼ mile north of the Cold Springs Campground
Bend – Fort Rock Ranger District:
• Fuzzy 11/298 and 18 – 1,200 acres southeast of Coyote Butte on the southwest side of China Hat Road
• South Bend - 250 acres, ½ mile west of Horse Butte on the south side of Bend
• Kipuka 2/NNVM 1 – 80 acres near Lavacast Forest, 12 miles south of Bend
• Charlie Brown 18 – 100 acres near the junction of Forest Roads 42 and 46 (Cascade Lakes Highway), 15 miles west of La Pine
• Charlie Brown FT16/FT35 and Dilman F13/F14 – 440 acres near Wickiup Reservoir, 10 miles west of La Pine
• Pile Burning: various locations throughout the district including: near Phil's Trailhead and adjacent to Skyliners Road on the west side of Bend; along Forest Road 46 (Cascade Lakes Highway); on Pine Mountain; and near Sunriver
Crescent Ranger District:
· Weiser 66 - 81 acres, one mile southwest of Highway 58 and west of Cascade Estates
· Fuels Only Maintenance Burns– 435 acres south of the Two Rivers Subdivision
· Pile Burning – various locations throughout the district including: Highway 58 between mile markers 77 and 82; along Cascade Lakes Hwy south of Lava Flow Camp Ground; adjacent to the Forest Roads 44 and 6230 junction; south of Forest Road 62 on Ringo Butte; and north of the Forest Roads 61 and 46 junction
Prineville District BLM:
· Clarno Ag Fields- 100 acres, 1½ miles north of Clarno
· Bridge Creek Ag Fields - 100 acres, 2 miles northwest of Mitchell
· Millican Road – 400 acres, 10 miles southwest of Prineville
· Playa Jackpot Burning – 2,200 acres, 10 miles south of Brothers
· Pile Burning – various locations throughout the District including: near La Pine State Park; adjacent to Highway 31 south of La Pine; within Maston recreational area 4 miles southwest of Redmond; and adjacent to the Prineville Lake Acres subdivision 11 miles southeast of Prineville
Ochoco National Forest & Crooked River National Grassland:
· Squirrel Ridge - 400 acres in Mill Creek by Wildcat Campground
· Gray Prairie – 1,800 acres, 5 miles south of Big Summit Prairie
· Zane – 850 acres, 2 miles east of Big Summit Prairie
· East Maury's – 800 acres along eastern boundary of the Maury Mountains
· Willow Pine – 1,000 acres, 15 miles east of Paulina in the southwest corner of the Ochoco National Forest
· Grasslands Jackpot – 1,000 acres from multiple units throughout the Crooked River National Grasslands including: 6 miles southeast of Madras; 15 miles south of Madras along Highway 26; and one mile north of Haystack Reservoir
In all cases, the areas around the burns will be signed to inform motorists of the prescribed fire activities.
People recreating in or traveling through the area should use caution as smoke may affect visibility and travel. If motorists encounter smoke as a result of the burning, they should slow down, turn on headlights, and proceed with care.
Patrols and mop-up activities will occur during and following ignitions and night patrols will occur on an as-needed basis, depending on conditions.
Smoke from many of these prescribed fires will be highly visible from Central Oregon communities including but not limited to Bend, Sisters, Redmond, La Pine, and Prineville.
Individual media releases will be sent out prior to each burn providing more information on the type of burn, the location and information on any road or area closures. All prescribed burns will be mopped up and patrolled following ignition.
For more information, visit the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center website at http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/centraloregon/fire/