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More prescribed burns in area planned this week

By KTVZ.COM news sources
Published On: May 12 2014 02:00:23 PM CDT
Updated On: May 12 2014 06:52:05 PM CDT
C.O. Fire Management Service
SISTERS, Ore. -

If weather conditions allow, fuel specialists plan to conduct two prescribed fires beginning Wednesday on the Sisters Ranger District, officials said Monday,

About 70 acres are planned to be burned adjacent to Black Butte Ranch and ¼ mile southwest of Highway 20 in the Glaze Meadow area.  And about 33 acres could be burned three miles north of Camp Sherman, adjacent to the east side of Forest Road 14 in the Metolius Basin Research Natural Area. 

The prescribed fire planned adjacent to Black Butte Ranch is part of the Glaze Meadow Restoration Project, a project which was accomplished through close collaboration between the Forest Service, public, and representatives from both the environmental and timber communities. 

Project goals include improving wildlife habitat and minimizing the potential of future high intensity wildfires.  Black Butte Ranch and Highway 20 could be impacted by smoke as a result of this project. 

The prescribed fire planned in the Metolius Basin Research Natural Area is part of a long-term forest health research project which examines prescribed fires applied at varying intervals.  Camp Sherman, House on Metolius, and other areas north of Camp Sherman could be impacted with smoke as a result of this project. 

Due to the location of these units, the public could see smoke and drivers may experience smoke impacts on nearby highways and Forest roads. 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.

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, visit the Ochoco/Deschutes website at www.fs.usda.gov/centraloregon  and follow us on twitter @CentralORFire. 

Meanwhile, fuels specialists plan to begin burning about 350 acres divided between two distinct areas near Crescent beginning Tuesday.

Approximately 200 acres are planned to be burned along both sides of Forest road 5835 about a mile south of the Two Rivers North Subdivision and four miles west of the intersection of Highways 97 and 58. 

An additional 150 acres are planned to be burned two miles west of Crescent, south of the intersection of Forest road 100 and County Road 61.   

Both projects fall within the boundary of the Walker Range Community Wildfire Protection Plan. A specific project objective is to reduce hazardous fuels within the wildland urban interface. 

This will be the second application of prescribed fire in the units near the Two Rivers North Subdivision, which were previously treated in 2003.  Prescribed fire in these units will also help maintain large trees and open stand conditions, officials said.

No road closures are anticipated with this project.  However, smoke from these operations could be visible from Highways 58 and 97 as well as County Road 61.  If smoke drifts on to local roads, motorists are advised to 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.  Once ignited, units are monitored and patrolled until they are declared out. 

For more information, please visit the “Prescribed Fires” link on the Deschutes & Ochoco National Forests website, http://www.fs.usda.gov/centraloregon and follow us on Twitter @CentralORFIre

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