BEND, Ore. - If conditions remain favorable, firefighters on the Deschutes National Forest are planning a burn west of Bend near the Cascade Lakes Welcome Station on Wednesday.
Ignitions are planned around for approximately 9 a.m. on Welcome Station 9, a 231-acre unit one mile west of Bend near the Cascade Lakes Welcome Station on Cascade Lakes Highway.
Due to the location of this burn, the project will close portions of the Ticket to Ride, COD and Westside Paved Path trails. These trails will likely be closed for a few days to allow firefighters to safely cool hot spots near the trail.
Additionally, smoke will be highly visible from Cascade Lakes Highway and portions of Forest Road 41. Signs and flaggers will be available if smoke begins to impact traffic flow the highway. Forest Service firefighters will be assisted on this burn by Bend Fire, The Nature Conservancy and Interagency hotshots.
Outside of Sisters, firefighters are planning to burn the 138-acre SAFR unit 282 adjacent to the Cold Springs Cutoff (Forest Road 1012) northwest of Sisters. Smoke will be visible from Highway 20 and the town of Sisters but no closures are anticipated with this burn.
While no closures are expected with any of these burns, smoke may be visible from state highways and nearby forest roads and drivers may experience smoke impacts. For all prescribed fires, signs will be posted on significant nearby forest roads and state highways that could be impacted. The public is encouraged to close their windows at night and if smoke is on the roadway, turn on headlights and slow down while traveling through smoky areas.
The public’s health is important to the Forest Service, the agency said. While significant preventive measures are taken, many factors influence a person’s susceptibility to smoke, including severity and duration of smoke exposure and a person’s health.
If individuals feel impacted by smoke, they should avoid outdoor physical exertion and remain indoors. If people experience serious health impacts from the smoke, they should contact their doctor. For more information about smoke and health, visit the Oregon Health Authority recommendations through this link: http://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/Preparedness/Prepare/Pages/PrepareForWildfire.aspx#health
Fuels specialists will follow policies outlined in the Oregon Department of Forestry smoke management plan, which governs smoke from prescribed fires (including pile burning), and attempts to minimize impacts to visibility and public health.
Keep up with prescribed burns in Central Oregon by visiting: http://www.centraloregonfire.org or text “COFIRE” to 888-777 to receive text alerts.
For more information, visit the Deschutes website at www.fs.usda.gov/deschutes and follow on Twitter @CentralORFire.