Central Oregon– If conditions remain favorable firefighters will conduct prescribed burns tomorrow near Bend and Hole in the Ground.
A prescribed burn located in the Shevlin Park area will be highly visible to residents of Bend. The 77-acre burn will be located directly north of Skyliner’s Road (Forest Road 4601) across from the Phil’s Trailhead turn-off. Smoke likely will impact Skyliner’s Road, Phil’s Trailhead and the western portions of the Tetherow neighborhood during the burn. Ignitions on the burn are expected to begin around 9 or 10 a.m. and be completed by 2 p.m. In the evening smoke is most likely to impact residences within the Northwest Crossing neighborhood. Residents are encouraged to close their windows to reduce the impacts from the smoke.
The burn in Shevlin Park is part of a multi-year agreement between the Forest Service and Bend Metro Parks and Recreation District to maintain and restore forest health and reduce the potential negative impacts of a severe wildfire on Shevlin Park, Miller Tree Farm, Tetherow and Northwest Crossing. The Oregon Department of Forestry and Bend Fire Department will assist on the burn.
The other burn, Maintenance Burn Units 2G, is more remote. The burn will be located 5 miles north of Hole in the Ground and 22 miles southeast of La Pine. The 1,000 acre burn could take up to two days to complete. Smoke may temporarily degrade visibility along State Highway 31 and impact private residences near Fort Rock and Hole in the Ground.
For all prescribed fires, signs will be posted on significant nearby Forest roads and state highways that could be impacted. No road closures are anticipated with these projects. If smoke is on a roadway, drivers should turn on headlights and slow down while traveling through smoky areas. The public’s health is important to the Forest Service. While significant preventive measures are taken, many factors influence a person’s susceptibility to smoke, including severity and duration of smoke exposure and a person’s health. If individuals feel impacted by smoke, they should avoid outdoor physical exertion and remain indoors. If people experience serious health impacts from the smoke, they should contact their doctor. For more information about smoke and health, visit the Oregon Health Authority recommendations through this link: http://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/Preparedness/Prepare/Pages/PrepareForWildfire.aspx#health
Fuels specialists will follow policies outlined in the Oregon Department of Forestry smoke management plan, which governs smoke from 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: http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/webmaps/deschutes/cofms-rxfire/