No that anyone would necessarily notice because of the weather so far, but there are controlled burns going on this week that the County wanted people to know about. (We’ve seen this happen in the past, when nobody quite knew what was going on.) From the County:
Last year, when controlled burns took place in the Southeast region of Deschutes County, 911 phone lines were flooded with hundreds of non-emergency phone calls for hours at a time. These calls may have prevented 911 operators from answering actual emergency calls.
This year, to help keep 911 phone lines available to actual emergency calls, please help to spread the word by sharing these media releases with friends and family.
If you have questions about a possible fire that may be different than the controlled and planned fires below, please call the 911 NON-EMERGENCY number, 693-6911.
The full details on the two planned burns follows.
Controlled Burns Planned Near Crescent and Sisters
Deschutes National Forest fuels specialists, in cooperation with the Walker Range Patrol Association, is planning 200 acres of controlled burns near Crescent for the week of May 5. The burn project is located approximately ten miles south of Crescent and one mile east of Highway 97.
In an effort to minimize any potential smoke impacts to Hwy 97, fuels specialists will light the burn in 50-acre blocks. Signs will be posted to warn motorists of potential smoke intrusions along the highway and flaggers will be utilized if necessary. Motorists should reduce speed, turn on head lights and proceed with caution when traveling through smoke-impacted areas.
In 1997, this burn project area was thinned and "under burned" (a low intensity burn that consumes surface fuels on the forest floor) to open up crowded and unhealthy stands of trees. This is a second, or "maintenance" under burn conducted to further reduce the accumulation of potentially hazardous fuels. The project is scheduled to begin on Tuesday and is expected to take 3-4 days, dependent upon weather. For more information, contact Kevin Carlson at (541) 433-3214.
In Sisters, Deschutes National Forest fuels specialists will work in cooperation with Oregon Department of Forestry and Willamette National Forest to conduct a 120-acre burn adjacent to the Crossroads Subdivision. This burn is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, May 6 and is expected to take 1-2 days to complete. Weather may require a change in location of the planned burn. For more information, contact Jinny Pittman at (541) 549-7644.
The objective of both controlled burns is to reduce the threat of wildfires and to re-introduce the natural role of fire back into the ponderosa pine ecosystem.
Smoke may settle in project areas with cooler air in the evening and morning hours. Crossroads Subdivision residents are advised to close windows and doors to keep any potential smoke out of structures.
All controlled burns are weather-dependent and completed in cooperation with the Oregon Department of Forestry smoke management plan. Fire specialists will postpone burning if winds are not forecasted for adequate smoke dispersal.
Controlled Burn Scheduled Adjacent to Newberry Estates Subdivision in La Pine
Prineville Bureau of Land Management (BLM) fuels specialists, in cooperation with Deschutes National Forest fuels specialists and local fire protection agencies, is planning a 40-acre controlled burn on public lands in La Pine adjacent to Newberry Estates on Friday, May 9. This controlled burn project is identified as one of the priority areas for hazardous fuels reduction in the Greater La Pine Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). Numerous members of the La Pine community contributed to the development of the CWPP, in cooperation with Prineville BLM and Deschutes National Forest, Deschutes County and Oregon Department of Forestry.
The objective of this controlled burn is to reduce the threat of wildfires by reducing hazardous fuels, while re-introducing the natural role of fire back into the ponderosa pine ecosystem. The 40-acre project area is located in north La Pine east of Gordy’s Truck Stop. The burning operation is expected to take one day to complete, with crews remaining in the area over the weekend to complete mop up and patrol.
Motorists should reduce speed, turn on head lights and proceed with caution when traveling through smoke-impacted areas along Highway 97 or other roads in the area.
Smoke may settle in project areas with cooler air in the evening and morning hours. Newberry Estates Subdivision residents are advised to close windows and doors to keep any potential smoke out of structures.
All controlled burns are weather-dependent and completed in cooperation with the Oregon Department of Forestry smoke management plan. Fire specialists will postpone burning if winds are not forecasted for adequate smoke dispersal. For additional information, contact Dennis Fiore at (541) 416-6698 or (541) 383-4003.