Monday, October 16, 2017

Ochoco will prescribed burn in the McKay Creek area this week

PRINEVILLE, Ore. – Fire managers on the Ochoco National Forest plan to conduct a 200-acre under burn near McKay Creek this week, about 14 miles northeast of Prineville, as weather conditions permit.

This prescribed burn is part of an ongoing series of treatments in the area to restore fire to a fire-adapted forest ecosystem, reduce hazardous fuel loading, and improve range conditions for livestock and big game.

The project is funded in part by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

The unit received ample moisture last week and conditions are still very wet in places so fire intensity is expected to be very low.

The unit is located west of Forest Road 27 along Forest Road 2705, about 1 mile west of Salt Butte. View a map of current and proposed prescribed burn units in Central Oregon here:

Ignitions are planned to begin today and last for two to three days as needed to complete the unit. Smoke may impact portions of Forest Roads 27, 33 and 2705 during periods of active burning, but predicted winds are expected to disperse smoke accumulations fairly quickly.

All hunting camps in the area have been contacted and the unit has been signed.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Crescent District Begins Prescribed Burning Friday

Additional Prescribed Burn Planned Near Indian Ford Campground Saturday

BEND–If conditions remain favorable, fuels specialists on the Crescent District are planning a prescribed burn tomorrow south of Crescent and 1 mile west of the Highway 97/Highway 58 junction.

The two units slated for ignition are Nina 8 and RP 3095 and ignitions on the combined 62 acres should only take on day. No closures are associated with these ignitions.

On Saturday, fuels specialists on the Sisters Ranger District are scheduled to conduct two prescribed burns adjacent to Indian Ford Campground on either side of Indian Ford Creek. IFR units 36 and 44 are both planned for ignition for a total of 123 acres, and if conditions are favorable, these two units should be completed in one day.

Due to the location of these units, the public could see smoke and drivers may experience smoke impacts on nearby highways and Forest roads. For all prescribed fires, signs will be posted on significant nearby Forest roads and state highways that could be impacted. While there are no road closures anticipated with either burn, drivers may experience smoke impacts on nearby roads. Motorists should slow down, turn on headlights, and proceed with caution.
Residences and businesses near these burn areas are advised to keep their windows and doors closed during the night hours to minimize any potential smoke impacts.

Fuels specialists follow policies outlined in the Oregon Department of Forestry smoke management plan, which governs prescribed fires (including pile burning) and attempts to minimize impacts to visibility and public health.
Keep up with prescribed burns in Central Oregon by visiting this live map:

For more information, visit the Deschutes website at and follow us on twitter @CentralORFire.


Ochoco prescribed burn near Hwy 26 planned for next week

Oct. 10, 2017 UPDATE: The Spears prescribed burn has been postponed due to a forecast for high winds today.

Fire managers will continue looking for opportunities to reschedule the burn, possibly later this week depending on weather.

PRINEVILLE, Ore. – Fire managers on the Ochoco National Forest plan to conduct a 1,200-acre prescribed burn near Spears Meadow next week, along Highway 26 east of Prineville, if weather conditions permit.

This prescribed burn is part of an ongoing series of treatments in the area to restore fire to a fire-adapted forest ecosystem, reduce hazardous fuel loading, and improve range conditions for livestock and big game.

The unit is located west of Highway 26 along Forest Road 3350, about 19 miles east of Prineville. See accompanying map of the burn unit, or view a map of current and proposed prescribed burn units in Central Oregon here:

Ignitions are planned to begin on Tuesday, October 10 and last for two to three days as needed to complete the unit. Smoke is likely to impact nearby Highway 26 during periods of active burning. Sign boards and flaggers will be present along the highway as needed.

At night, due to cold night time temperatures, smoke will pool into low level areas and may come into Prineville. This smoke should be of short duration during the early morning hours until the inversion lifts and clear back out of the valleys.

Prescribed burning is part of a Forest Service program to remove hazardous fuels in order to reduce the potential for high-intensity uncharacteristic fire, while restoring low-intensity fire to a fire-adapted ecosystem and improving range and forest health.

Prescribed burning is a proactive approach to fire management, reintroducing fire in a planned, low-intensity manner that benefits the resources, instead of waiting for an unplanned ignition, such as lightning, to start a wildfire that requires an expensive suppression response and can burn with destructive intensity.

The Forest Service appreciates public tolerance of increased smoke and vehicle traffic in support of these restoration goals.

Monday, October 2, 2017

10/2/2017 Sisters Ranger District to Conduct Prescribed Burn Tomorrow

 Contact:   Jean Nelson-Dean, Deschutes NF Public Affairs Officer, 541-383-5561

Date:  October 2, 2017


Sisters Ranger District to Conduct Prescribed Burn

Burn to be done near Lake Billy Chinook

SISTERS— Tomorrow fuel management specialists on the Sisters Ranger District of the Deschutes National Forest will be doing a prescribed burn on a 155-acre unit located 2 miles west of Lake Billy Chinook near the junction of Forest Service Road 11 and Forest Service Road 1170.
The unit, called Flymon, is expected to be completed in one day; however, depending on burning conditions it may take up to two days. Following the prescribed burn the area will be mopped up and patrolled.

The burn will create a greater mosaic of grasses and shrubs under the overstory of large trees to improve wildlife habitat in the area. Primarily the burn will improve deer winter range.
Communities to the east of the burn including Madras and Redmond may see smoke, but should not be impacted by smoke. Smoke may pool overnight in the Lake Billy Chinook area. No road closures are planned outside of areas immediately adjacent to the burn unit.

All prescribed burning is dependent on weather and planned in accordance with smoke management standards administered by the State of Oregon.
Keep up with prescribed burns in Central Oregon by visiting this live map:

For more information, follow us on twitter @CentralORFire.    


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Industrial Fire Precaution Level To Drop on Friday

Redmond, Oregon – With increased moisture and consistently cooler weather, the Prineville District Bureau of Land Management, the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests and Crooked River National Grassland have dropped the Industrial Fire Precaution Level to 1. This change means that there are no longer precautionary restrictions in place for firewood cutting or for permitted and commercial activities on public lands. This change will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. September 29, (Friday) on public lands in Central Oregon.

Under this level, classified as “Closed Season- Fire precaution requirements are in effect” a fire watch/security is required at this and higher levels. Individuals with a valid firewood cutting permit can operate at any time of the day. Firewood cutters are still encouraged to check that spark arrestors are in good working order and all fire precaution measures are taken when cutting in dry fuels.

Officials want to remind the public that using explosive target material, such as Tannerite, explosives, and fireworks continue to be prohibited on all federal lands.

To keep up-to-date on prescribed fire and wildfire activity, following us on Twitter at @CentralORFire.


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Desolation Fire closure area reduced

PRINEVILLE, Ore. – The Ochoco National Forest today has reduced the closure area surrounding the Desolation Fire, which is still burning within Mill Creek Wilderness.

Beginning today, the closure is restricted to Wildcat Trail #833, which transects Mill Creek Wilderness. The trail is closed to the public from its junction with Belknap Trail #833A on the south to its junction with Wildcat North Trailhead.

About 6 miles of Forest Road 27 also remain closed, from its junction with Forest Road 2745 on the west side to its junction with Forest Road 2730-250. (See the accompanying map and order here:

Crews with heavy equipment are still working along Forest Road 27, making it unsafe for the public to drive among working feller bunchers and log trucks. The work is expected to continue for at least another week.

The Desolation Fire is still burning, although at a low intensity and it has not grown or moved in more than a week. The fire remains 4,512 acres with 30 percent containment. Around 34 firefighters are still working on the fire under a Type 4 incident management team.

While only the specified road and trail are closed to the public, the National Forest would like to urge hunters and anyone else entering the wilderness to use caution around recently-burned areas. Pockets of heat may remain in places and dead trees could pose a threat of falling down.

Friday, September 22, 2017

9/22/2017 Horse Creek Complex Fire Update

September 22, 2017 - 9:00 a.m.

Fire Information: 541-719-8371 or email:

Rebel Fire:  8,653 acres
Horse Creek Complex: Olallie Lookout Fire, 1,572 acres; Roney Fire, 3,548 acres; Avenue Fire, 2,962 acres; Separation Fire, 17,747 acres; Nash Fire, 6,738 acres.
Total all fires: 41,220 acres (The last infrared flight was conducted on 9/15. No change in acreage has been measured since 9/15.)

Resources:  Personnel, 403; Crews, 7; Helicopters, 1; Engines, 24; Water Tenders, 4; Skidgen, 1.

Weather: Remote weather stations in the area of the Horse Creek Complex and Rebel fire measured precipitation from 4 to nearly 6 inches since Sunday night. Thursday brought fewer showers and diminished clouds with occasional sunshine. A warming and drying trend will continue through the weekend with each day gaining a few degrees until temperatures in the 70s return early next week. Fire spread is still not anticipated to occur even with a return of warmer and dryer weather.

Next Steps: Firefighter crews have transitioned from protecting the public from fire to removing equipment from the field and repairing fire lines and other disturbances left by suppression efforts. Fire managers use the term “suppression repair” to describe efforts taken after a fire to repair impacts to the land. Before leaving the fire, crews may construct berms and spread brush and rocks onto the cut lines and bare ground that were created during firefighting efforts. Water bars may be constructed on hand and dozer lines to divert water to reduce soil erosion and prevent gullies from forming. Also, crews will remove refuse, flagging, and other equipment as part of their efforts to restore the land to a more natural condition.

Current Situation: Crews are currently being limited by their ability to get into work areas due to snow, mud and soft roads. Where access was possible, crews pulled hose, flagging and excess equipment, scattered debris and repaired hand lines. Rocks and logs that had rolled out of burns were removed from roads. Equipment was removed from Camp Malakwa and structure protection is being lifted throughout the complex. Roads are currently too soft to support heavy equipment that is needed to repair fire lines. Complete access won’t be possible until roads are dryer.

Chipping equipment that has been ordered will arrive beginning Friday and crews will be trained on equipment operation. Some slash piles built during firefighting efforts will be chipped, others have been burned. Survey flights are planned for Friday if weather permits. Firefighter and public welfare and safety remains a priority. Slash removal is continuing along the Cascade Lakes Highway.

National Forest Closure Orders:  Fire restrictions have been lifted in Willamette and Deschutes National Forests, and campfires are now allowed. Current information about closures on the Willamette and Deschutes National Forests is available at:

Flight Restrictions: A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) remains in place over the fires to provide a safe environment for firefighting aircraft operations. It is not legal to operate any aircraft (including drones) within a TFR. More information on the TFR is available at