Fire managers on the Crooked River National Grassland plan to burn downed juniper on approximately 537 acres next week, as weather and conditions allow. The burning will take place just east of Highway 26 about 7 miles south of Madras, in the Juniper Springs area.
This type of prescribed fire, known as “jackpot burning,” addresses high concentrations of naturally-occurring or thinning-related downed woody debris. Burning these units will improve critical winter range for big game while reducing hazardous fuel loading to lower the risk of large-scale wildfire across the landscape.
The burning is scheduled to begin about 10 a.m. on Tuesday, February 20, and continue for one or two days as needed.
Smoke will be visible throughout the week from Highway 26, but no delays or impacts to travel are expected; however, if smoke drifts onto roads, motorists should slow down, turn on headlights, and proceed with care. Jackpots may smolder, burn, and produce smoke for several days after ignition. Once ignited, units are monitored by firefighters until they are declared out.
Fuels specialists follow policies outlined in the Oregon Department of Forestry smoke management plan, which governs prescribed fires (including jackpot burning) and attempts to minimize impacts to visibility and public health.