Fall Prescribed Fire Season starting in South Central Oregon
LAKEVIEW, ORE. – Planned fall prescribed fire operations will start as soon as conditions allow for smoke management and desired prescription outcomes. 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 a proactive approach to fire and land management, reintroducing fire in a manner that reduces hazardous fuels, improves range and forest health, and benefits the fire-adapted ecosystem. Prescribed fire can be strategically located across the landscape, is carefully managed to meet resource and smoke management objectives, and incorporates consideration for sensitive resources. Unplanned wildfires generally do not afford such benefits, burn with high intensity, and often requires costly suppression efforts.
Cooler temperatures, adequate humidity, and favorable winds for smoke management, will allow firefighters to start applying fire to planned units. Burning operations will be monitored and patrolled frequently by fire professionals to ensure public safety.
Prescribed fire will 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.
Hunters and other recreation users should check current conditions in the area, especially during September and October with the possibility of prescribed fire operations.
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.