BEND, Ore. - Next month, a 48-acre prescribed fire is planned for Shevlin Park, and the community is being invited to learn more at an information session on Tuesday, May 2, at 6 p.m. at Aspen Hall, 18920 NW Shevlin Park Rd.
To maintain and restore forest health and reduce the potential negative effects of a severe wildfire in Shevlin Park, Bend Park and Recreation District is reintroducing prescribed fire as part of its vegetation management plan for the park.
The May 2 information session will include brief presentations and opportunities for attendees to ask questions about the timing, benefits, safety measures and community impacts of the prescribed fire.
The park district said it is working closely with the Deschutes National Forest and Project Wildfire on details related to the burn, and representatives from the organizations will be in attendance at the May 2 session.
The prescribed fire area is located in Shevlin Park on the south side of Shevlin Park Road. The area is immediately south of Aspen Meadow and the parking lot and will extend to the east near the Tumalo Creek Trail and west near the old railroad grade. The southern boundary will be near the covered bridge. Signage is in place to inform park visitors about the current preparations for the burn.
At Shevlin Park, visitors may have observed employees conducting tree thinning, understory brush mowing and slash pile burning in recent months to help reduce hazardous fuel loads and prepare for the upcoming prescribed fire efforts.
The prescribed fire is tentatively planned for May 15-19, May 25 or May 30-June 1. These dates are subject to weather conditions, final preparations for the site and approval of the Deschutes National Forest. As planned, the prescribed fire should be completed in a day or two. Once it is safe to reopen the park, signage will be removed and areas will be available for recreation.
“Re-introducing fire to Shevlin Park will provide numerous benefits to the park’s natural resources,” said Jeff Amaral, natural resources manager for Bend Park and Recreation District. “Historically, fire was the main disturbance that created and maintained Shevlin Park’s vegetation species composition and densities.”
During the active burning period nearby residents and park visitors will see and smell smoke. People are encouraged to keep their doors and windows closed during the burning and the evening following the burning to reduce impacts from smoke.
Most smoke should move out of the area within the day, the park district said, although there may be some smoldering on the following day or two. Firefighters will monitor the area for several days following the burn.
For a map and more information: http://www.bendparksandrec.org/current_projects/park-projects/shevlin-park-prescribed-burn/