Fall Prescribed Fire Season starting in South Central Oregon


LAKEVIEW, Ore. – Now that fall weather has arrived, fire managers on the Fremont-Winema National Forest, Lakeview District Bureau of land Management (BLM) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Sheldon-Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex are looking for opportunities to apply prescribed fire to the landscape.

Prescribed fire is an important tool used by fire managers to reduce hazardous fuels and the threat of high-intensity wildfires, increase firefighter and community safety in the event of future wildfires in the area, and improve forest health and wildlife habitat. Prescribed fire is only applied when specific environmental conditions are met and in a manner designed to achieve specific objectives.

As conditions allow, including cooler temperatures, adequate humidity, and favorable winds for smoke management, firefighters will start applying fire to planned units. Burning operations will be monitored and patrolled frequently by fire professionals to ensure public safety.

Prescribed fires occur on days when the Oregon Department of Forestry Smoke Management Office indicates there are suitable weather conditions for smoke dispersal. Following that approval, if overall fuel and weather conditions are favorable, firefighters ignite a test fire before moving forward. If the test fire indicates conditions are not suitable, the prescribed fire will be postponed until conditions improve.

Residents and visitors are asked to be aware of their surroundings and watch for prescribed fire operations to maintain personal and firefighter safety. Areas where prescribed fire operations are taking place will be well signed and may have increased fire personnel, traffic and smoke in the area.

Smoke may be visible on public lands in various areas for the next few months as prescribed operations continue. Each prescribed fire can appear different visually depending on the forest type, fuel load, prescribed fire objectives and how long fire has been absent from the area. This includes wildfires and prescribed fires.

Prescribed Fire Notices will be posted prior to ignition once timeframes have been established. SCOFMP Employees are committed to safe and successful prescribed fire operations within these designated areas.

Press release provided by South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership.

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