Thursday, July 3, 2014

Kipuka Fire at the Newberry National Monument Continues To Be Managed For Resource Benefit

Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center
                 4550 SW Airport Way
                  Prineville, OR  97754

FIRE NEWS--Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center
For Immediate Release:  July 3, 2014- 5:00 p.m.
Contact:  Media Desk, 541/416-6811

The Kipuka Fire on the Newberry National Volcanic Monument of the Deschutes National Forest grew to 7 acres today and continues to slowly burn in a 30 acre island of ponderosa pine and downed wood surrounded by lava rock (basalt).

Firefighters from the Fire Effects Monitoring Crew are on hand to monitor the progress of the fire and ensure that it continues to burn at low intensities within the containment area to maximize resource benefits. 

Central Oregon is a fire adapted forested ecosystem. Allowing this natural process to progress will improve habitat for native plants and wildlife, and increase forest resiliency to large scale wildfire.

The Newberry National Volcanic Monument and Lava Lands Visitor Center are still open to the public. There is no immediate danger to the public from the fire, which can be safely viewed from the paved paths at Lava Lands Visitor Center or at the top of Lava Butte.

The Kipuka Fire was reported by Lava Butte Lookout on July 2 at around 4 p.m. It was one of over a dozen fires that started after a lightning storm passed through and struck the ground over 3,000 times. 

The Kipuka Fire is a low intensity burn with short flame lengths and occasional tree torching. Low intensity fires can be better managed than high intensity wildfires and help maintain healthy forest ecosystems.  

A view of the Kipuka Fire from Lava Butte. The fire area is completely surrounded by lava rock.

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