Beginning Tuesday and potentially Wednesday, a couple of prescribed burns will happen across Central Oregon.
The first burn was originally planned to occur on Monday, but was delayed by weather.
The fuel specialists with the Deschutes National Forest with assistance from Bend Fire and Rescue and the Oregon Department of Forestry will conduct prescribed fire operations on both national forest and private lands southeast of Bend.
Specialists will underburn 252 acres between the national forest lands and private lands.
The burn units are located approximately ½ mile east of the High Desert Museum.
The prescribed burning on the private lands is being done in coordination with the private landowner using Good Neighbor Authority.
Ignitions will begin at approximately 9 a.m. and should end by 5 p.m.
Smoke may impact U.S. Highway 97.
Motorists should slow down and turn on their lights if smoke impacts their visibility.
Warning signs will be on the highway and, if necessary, flaggers will be used to reduce impacts to traffic.
Smoke and residual burning will be visible in the area for up to a week post ignition.
Subdivisions and neighborhoods on the south and east side of Bend can expect some nighttime and early morning smoke impacts after project implementation.
Sunriver and Newberry Caldera could also be impacted if smoke settles to the south, southeast.
Another burn is planned southwest of Crescent for Tuesday.
Public Affairs Officer Jean Nelson-Dean with the Deschutes National Forest said fuel specialists will underburn around 22 acres, located 11 miles southwest of Crescent adjacent to the Two Rivers Subdivision.
Ignitions are planned to begin at 10 a.m.
Smoke will be visible from Crescent and the surrounding area during operations. Residents might see smoke to be visible up to two weeks after ignitions are complete.
U.S. Highway 97 and State Route 58 will be monitored for smoke impacts and warning signs will be in placed if needed.
The objective of this prescribed burn is to reduce fuel loadings in ponderosa pine stands that are part of the Rim-Paunina project area, which is within the Walker Range Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). The Walker Range CWPP assesses the risks, hazards, and mitigation and prevention opportunities associated with wildfire in the community.
The public can find an interactive map of prescribed burns as well as air quality information at this link:
To sign up for text alerts about prescribed fires and wildfires, people should text COFIRE to 888-777.
The public is encouraged to close their windows at night. The public’s health is important to the Forest Service. 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: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/Preparedness/Prepare/Pages/PrepareForWildfire.aspx#health