By HANNAH SIEVERT
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY
A wildfire in La Pine spread to 393 acres this weekend in La Pine and came close to the Newberry Estates subdivision, prompting a level one evacuation notice for residents from the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.
But Jean Nelson-Dean, a spokeswoman for the forest service, said the spread could have been much worse if it wasn’t for a prescribed burn that took place in the area three years ago.
“It hit those treatments and that definitely slowed the progress,” Nelson-Dean said. “If those treatments hadn’t been in place, that crown fire would have continued on. We would have had a much larger fire and a lot more smoke.”
On Saturday, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office issued a Level 1 evacuation notice as the Rosland Road fire spread toward the Newberry Estates housing subdivision.
The fire’s progress was slowed and the evacuation notice dropped, thanks in part to previous prescribed burns that took place near Newberry Estates.
“This is a perfect example of how fuel treatments like thinning, mowing and prescribed burning lead to a healthier ecosystem and a safer community,” Nelson-Dean said.
Nelson-Dean said the Rosland Fire is a perfect example of why prescribed burns performed in the fall and spring are important for protecting houses in the summer.
“It’s not fun to have that smoke and that work right next to your home while it’s happening,” Nelson-Dean said. “But in the long run, your home is safer.”