PRINEVILLE, Ore. -

Fuels specialists intend to begin burning concentrations of previously cut juniper on up to 400 acres on the east side of the Maury Mountains and 12 miles southeast of Post, as early as Monday. 

Smoke from this operation about 20 miles south of Big Summit Prairie on the Ochoco National Forest could be visible from Highways 20 and 380. The area is 20 miles north of Highway 20 and about five miles northeast of Antelope Reservoir.

Project objectives include improving wildlife habitat and range conditions as well as hazardous fuels reduction.  This project is supported by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. 

No road closures are anticipated with this project.  However, if smoke drifts on to local 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.  Once ignited, units are monitored and patrolled until they are declared out. 

For more information, visit the Ochoco/Deschutes website at www.fs.usda.gov/centraloregon  and follow us on twitter @CentralORFire.