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Big south-county prescribed burn planned

Published On: May 13 2013 04:23:45 PM CDT
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La PINE, Ore. -

Given favorable conditions, Deschutes National Forest fuels specialists on the Bend-Ft. Rock Ranger District, in coordination with researchers from the Pacific Northwest Research Station, plan to conduct a large prescribed burn southwest of Sunriver and northwest of La Pine, in the Pringle Falls Experimental Forest over the next three days.

The 490-acre burn, called Extra, is planned within the Lookout Mountain block of the Pringle Falls Experimental Forest, approximately 13 miles southwest of Sunriver, OR and nine miles northwest of La Pine. 

Ignitions are planned to begin at 10 a.m. and end at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of this week.

The goal of this project is to reduce crown fire hazard and improve wild fire resilience across the project area.  Specific objective include reducing brush cover and reducing fuel loading while minimizing mortality. 

The burn is being conducted as part of a research project designed to produce information pertinent to fuels management and forest insect and disease issues.

Due to the location of this project, the public in the Sunriver and La Pine areas could see visible plumes of smoke and drivers may experience smoke impacts on nearby Forest roads.  Wild River, Fall River Estates and Ponderosa Estates subdivisions are likely to experience some impacts from the smoke.  Prescribed fire personnel will burn under the most favorable weather conditions to minimize smoke impacts.  If smoke drifts onto roads, motorists should slow down, turn on headlights, and proceed with care.

Fuels specialists will follow policies outlined in the Oregon Department of Forestry smoke management plan, which governs prescribed fires, and attempts to minimize impacts to visibility and public health. For more information, please visit the “Prescribed Fires” link on the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center website, http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/centraloregon/fire/

Pringle Falls Experimental Forest is a diverse field laboratory within the Deschutes National Forest. It was formally established in 1931 as a center for silviculture, forest management, and insect and disease research in Ponderosa pine forests east of the Oregon Cascade Range.

Pringle Falls is maintained by the Pacific Northwest Research (PNW) Station for research and education in ecosystem structure and function and for demonstration of forest management techniques. It provides outstanding examples of undisturbed and managed ponderosa pine, lodgepole pine, and higher elevation mixed conifer forests occurring on 6,600-year-old aerially deposited Mount Mazama pumice and ash common throughout central and south-central Oregon.

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