Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District firefighters will conduct a prescribed burn of about 500 acres near Sunriver starting Monday, the Deschutes National Forest announced. The location is in the wildland-urban interface adjacent to Sunriver.
The locations are on the north and south sides of Cottonwood Road bordering Highway 97 to the west, the Forest Service said. Weather permitting, firefighters will begin Monday and will continue work into Tuesday.
“The community of Sunriver, and possibly Deschutes River Woods and the south side of Bend could be impacted by smoke for a short period of time during the ignition phase of the burn, and night and morning hours when temperatures are cooler keeping inversions low,” the Forest Service said in a statement.
Smoke will be visible from Bend, Sunriver and La Pine.
No road or trail closures are expected, but there will be signage and flaggers if smoke impacts road travel. Smoke may impact Highway 97 south of Bend and Cottonwood Road into northern Sunriver, the district said.
Residents are encouraged to keep their windows closed at night to prevent smoke from getting inside. When driving in smoky areas, drivers are urged to slow down and turn on their headlights.
“Fire managers are implementing this understory burn to reduce wildfire risk to communities by providing defensible space and safe evacuation routes for the Sunriver area and adjacent recreation sites,” the Forest Service said. “Prescribed burning reintroduces and maintains fire within the fire-adapted ecosystem helping to stabilize and improve the resiliency of forest conditions while increasing public and firefighter safety. Once ignited, units are monitored and patrolled until they are declared out.”
Visit centraloregonfire.org to learn more about smoke safety and prescribed fire. Text “COFIRE to 888-777 to receive wildfire and prescribed fire text alerts.