Prescribed Burn Planned in the West Bend Project Area for Thursday
BEND – Specific wind and weather conditions will allow fuels specialists to burn in the West Bend Project area near Phil’s Trailhead off of Skyliner Road this Thursday.
If conditions remain favorable, the 70 acre prescribed burn will take place on May 28 with ignitions beginning at 10:00am. Approximately one mile of the KGB trail between Forest Road 4604 and the Marvin’s Garden Trail will be closed tomorrow and Thursday to prepare for and complete the burn.
Burning will occur approximately one mile south from the trailhead parking area and operations should be completed by 4 p.m. the same day. The winds forecasted for the burn area are expected to push smoke up and over Bend, which will limit impacts to the community. However smoke will be highly visible from the Bend and the surrounding areas.
Hazards, including fire weakened trees and areas of hot ash, will exist in the burn area for 1-2 weeks or more after burn implementation. It is advised that recreationists remain on the trails and roads, and that dogs remain on leash when travelling around the burn area. If smoke drifts on to roads, motorists should slow down, turn on headlights, and proceed with care. The smoke will dissipate after ignitions have been completed, but smoke could be visible in the burn area for an additional 2-3 days. Fuels specialists will be monitoring the burn area through the weekend and into next week.
Fuels specialists will follow policies outlined in the Oregon Department of Forestry smoke management plan, which governs controlled burns, and attempts to minimize impacts to visibility and public health.
The West Bend Vegetation Project is the first project to be implemented through a partnership with the Deschutes Collaborative Forest Project (DCFP), an organization bringing a diverse group of stakeholders together with the Forest Service to design and plan treatments options for highly valued and historically controversial areas. DCFP was created through the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration (CFLR) Program in 2010 which awarded the Deschutes National Forest with a 10-year, $10.1 million grant to restore 145,000 acres of forest in Central Oregon. In the summer of 2013 the restoration area was approved for an expansion, bringing the total to approximately 257,000 acres and stretching from Black Butte and Bend to Sunriver and Mt. Bachelor.
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