Prescribed fire closes Shevlin Park for a day; tours available to learn about burns

A 78-acre prescribed burn will close Bend’s Shevlin Park on Tuesday, Oct. 15.

But if you want to learn more about prescribed burns, you can take part in one of two tours of the park during the fire.

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 using prescribed fire as part of its vegetation management plan for the park. BPRD reintroduced prescribed fire to Shevlin Park in 2017, and has burned 150 acres total in the past two years.

The prescribed fire area is located in two areas. First, a 56-acre unit is in newly expanded portion of Shevlin Park that was a former tree farm. In addition, 22 acres in the Fremont Meadow area on the other side of Tumalo Creek will be burned. See map here.

Community members will have the opportunity to participate in a tour of the prescribed burn to discuss prescribed fire with local professionals.

There will be two tours the day of the burn; 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The tours will depart from the Shevlin Park parking lot. Safety clothing will be provided for participants; however, community members attending the tour must wear sturdy closed toe shoes.

Attendees will be driven to an area in Shevlin Park where the tour will then walk to the prescribed burn. The walk is approximately 1 mile from the drop-off location and a portion (about ¼ mile) is steep terrain. Community members interested in attending the prescribed fire tour, please email Alison Green at cocohesivestrategy@gmail.com.

Signage is in place to inform park visitors about the fire and park closure. Staff will also be on-site at key trailheads to alert anyone about the fire and closure.

The Deschutes National Forest will lead the burn with support and assistance from the park district’s Natural Resources team. Other partners include Bend Fire Department, Project Wildfire, Deschutes County and Central Oregon Community College.

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.

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 a day or two though there may be some smoldering for multiple days.

Firefighters and district staff will monitor the area for several days following the burn.

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