If you felt like fire season was over before noticing a large smoke plume between Bend and Sisters Wednesday, you’re weren’t alone.
We’re into October, marking the beginning of this year’s prescribed burning season. Firefighters use these tools to help prevent dangerous wildfires in future years.
The prescribed burn about two miles southeast of Sisters near the Sisters Rodeo Grounds is expected to continue Thursday morning, if conditions are favorable.
The Forest Service hopes the rest of the smoke Central Oregonians breathe in this year is planned and controlled.
“Today (Wednesday) is the first day of prescribed burning for the Deschutes National Forest,” said Jaimie Olle, public affairs specialist, Deschutes National Forest. “Folks will likely continue to see this effort across but Deschutes National Forest throughout the month of October, as long as we have favorable conditions here in central Oregon.”
Those conditions, with frequent rain, could not have been more favorable for firefighters the last few weeks. What would typically be high risk wildfire fuel has been saturated. Most of the wildfires across the state are either out or under control, including a lack of wind.
Wednesday’s prescribed burn was in the Sisters ranger district, but the Forest Service expects work to continue in Sisters and other districts around Central Oregon.
“When we can get in here and apply the low intensity fire that would historically be on this landscape that gets rid of the vegetation and fuel loading,” Olle said.
The Forest Service has a unique prescription for each burn and teams utilize certain conditions to keep smoke out of nearby communities as much as possible.
To keep that smoke out of communities, firefighters consider factors like wind, temperature and moisture.