If conditions remain favorable, fuels specialists on the Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District plan to conduct a prescribed burn this Wednesday on 375 acres of national forest land located approximately 12 miles north of the Fort Rock community.
The burn will reduce hazardous fuels accumulation, decreasing the risk of high-intensity wildfire in the area.
The prescribed burn reintroduces and maintains fire within the Ponderosa pine fire-adapted ecosystem while also improving deer winter range habitat.
Fire managers coordinated with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife in planning this project.
Smoke will be visible from the Fort Rock area and along Highway 31, potentially degrading visibility along the highway.
Impacted forest roads will be signed as appropriate.
Residents near Fort Rock and Hole in the Ground, as well as hunters in the area may experience periods of increased smoke.
Fire management officials work with Oregon Department of Forestry smoke specialists to analyze weather conditions and anticipated smoke dispersion to determine burn dates.
When smoke is present, motorists should reduce speed and turn on headlights.
All efforts will be made to limit smoke impacts to area neighborhoods and communities.
The possibility exists for smoke to settle in low-lying areas due to cool night-time temperatures.
Residents in areas near burn operations are encouraged to close windows at night to avoid possible smoke impacts.
For more information on hazardous fuels reduction projects in Central Oregon, visit the interactive website at http://www.centraloregonfire.org/ or visit www.fs.usda.gov/deschutes and follow us on Twitter @CentralORFire. For further questions contact the Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District at (541) 383-5300.