|4/30/2013 1:14:00 PM|
Prescribed burns planned
Given favorable weather conditions, Deschutes National Forest fuel specialists on the Sisters District plan to conduct prescribed burns on three separate projects next week. Two of the burns are planned for south of Black Butte Ranch and one is planned for northwest of Camp Sherman in the Metolius Basin.
A 135-acre burn, called McCache North, is planned for an area two miles south of Black Butte Ranch and one mile north of State Highway 242. Another 178-acre burn, called SAFR NW, will be a half-mile south of Black Butte Ranch and Graham Corral campground and 1.5 miles southwest of Highway 20. An additional 167-acre prescribed burn, called 1425, will be approximately 1.5 miles northwest of Camp Sherman/Metolius Meadows and a half-mile southwest of Jack Creek campground.
Due to the size and location of all three burns the public will see visible plumes of smoke, and drivers may experience smoke impacts on nearby highways and forest roads. For all prescribed burns, signs will be posted on significant nearby forest roads and state highways that might be impacted by the burns.
The goal of the projects is to reduce the level of fuels in forested areas, which will minimize the potential of future high-intensity wildfires and improve public safety by creating defensible space. During extensive planning of the projects consideration always is given to potential firewood and biomass uses of the wood rather than burning.
Nearby communities and subdivisions are likely to be impacted by smoke from the prescribed burns; however, fire crews will work to burn during conditions that will limit these impacts. 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 www.fs.usda.gov/centraloregon.
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