Fire managers on the Ochoco National Forest plan to conduct the 400-acre Squirrel Ridge prescribed burn near Mill Creek Wilderness later this week, pending favorable weather conditions.
Last week’s wave of precipitation across Central Oregon, combined with cooler daytime temperatures, provides a window of opportunity this week to successfully complete this fuels treatment before another predicted rain event arrives this weekend.
If predicted rain arrives early, fire managers may try to complete this treatment early next week as conditions allow.
Objectives for the Squirrel Ridge prescribed burn include improving upland forage conditions for both livestock and big game animals, and reducing hazardous fuels in accordance with the Crook County Community Wildfire Protection Plan.
This prescribed burn will complete a 736-acre fuels treatment project that fire managers began working on in 2013.
Ignitions are expected to last one or two days, with smoke being visible in the area for several days following. Light smoke will be visible from Highway 26 and along Forest Road 33, and other nearby forest roads, during active burn periods.
Fuels specialists follow policies outlined in the Oregon Smoke Management Plan, which governs prescribed fires (including pile burning) and attempts to minimize impacts to visibility and public health.
The Forest appreciates public tolerance of temporary smoke conditions in support of these restoration goals.