Prescribed Fire

What is Prescribed Fire?

photo of forest service worker lighting an underburn in a timber sale area near Blue River Reservoir

A prescribed fire or burn is one we ignite in a carefully planned and controlled setting to improve forest health. When we burn depends on weather and fuel conditions. Through careful planning, we minimize smoke impacts to air quality.

Prescribed fire specialists may spend years planning a burn. They work very closely with wildlife biologists, foresters, hydrologists, and other resource managers, as well as adjacent landowners and interested stakeholders.

Why Do We Burn?

  • To cost-effectively reduce hazardous fuels and decrease risks of intense, damaging wildfire
  • To improve firefiighters' ability to protect homes and lives
  • To maintain and improve ecosystem health
  • To promote the regeneration of plants after logging which benefits wildlife

Learn more about the role of prescribed fire from the “Art of Burning Across Landscapes” video.


Video brought to you by the BLM Lakeview District, Fremont-Winema National Forest and Sheldon-Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge.

 

Prescribed Burns Planned for 2013

We usually do Spring prescribed burns in May and June and Fall burns from late August through October. The actual date depends on local weather conditions. You can expect light to moderate smoke in areas near prescribed burning.

  • Exact dates depend on weather and conditions. We don't know until the day before.
  • How to find out when & where:

Detroit Ranger District

  • Spring
    • Downing 49: Approximately 19 acres. Located in T 11S R7E Sec. 34 
    • Downing 41: Approximately 12 acres. Locate in T11S R 7E Sec. 33.
  • Fall
    • Downing 45: Approximately  3 acres. Located in T 11S R7E Sec. 34.
      September 14, 2013 (weather permitting)

Sweet Home Ranger District

  • Spring
    • No spring burns planned at this time
  • Fall
    • Camas Prairie: approximately 7 acres. This will be visible from Highway 20. 
      September 11, 2013 (weather permitting)
    • Browder Ridge Unit 5, approximately 18 acres.  
      September - exact date to be determined

McKenzie River Ranger District

  • Spring (no closures expected with these burns)
    • Total acres: approximately 197 acres.
    • Smoke might be visible from Highway 126, but shouldn't affect travel on the road. Signs will be posted. 
    • Map of 2013 Spring Controlled Burn Area (pdf - 239 kb)
      • Mill Creek Drainage
      • North of Tokatee Golf Course
      • Ikenick Creek drainage
      • Near Blue River Reservoir
      • Santiam Pass area west of 126 and southwest of Clear Lake and Sahalie Falls (this area not on map) 

Middle Fork Ranger District

  • Spring Burning:
    • Christy Basin EIS:
      • Fawn # 22: (24 acres) Broadcast burning in a regeneration harvest for hazardous fuels reduction. Secondary benefits include improving browse for big game and increasing forest diversity. T18S R5E Sec33
      • Fawn # 20: (7 acres) Broadcast burning in a regeneration harvest for hazardous fuels reduction. Secondary benefits include improving browse for big game and increasing forest diversity. T18S R5E Sec 32
  • Fall Burning:
    • Upper Middle Fork Meadow Restoration:
      • North Groundhog: (35 acres) The last meadow (out of eight) to be implemented under the Upper Middle Fork Meadow Restoration CE. The benefits of burning include re-introducing fire into the meadow for fire adapted plant communities. Reducing conifer encroachment in and around the meadow openings and improving browse for big game. T23S R4E Sec 16
    • Oakridge and Westfir Thinning and Fuels Reduction (OWTFR):
      • F-39: (37 acres) Unit 39 is an underburn only unit. Underburning will reduce hazardous fuels in the wildland urban interface. T21S R3E Sec 11/14
      • F-52 (2 acres) The unit has previously been whipfelled, handpiled and handpile/burned (2010/2011). The last treatment currently planned for unit 52 is for the unit to be underburned. Underburning will reduce hazardous fuels in the wildland urban interface. T21S R3E Sec 14
      • F-53: (31 acres) Unit 53 has previously been whipfelled, handpiled and handpile/burned (2010/2011). The last treatment currently planned for unit 53 is for the unit to be underburned. Underburning will reduce hazardous fuels in the wildland urban interface. Secondary benefits for the unit include re-introducing fire into Mule Meadow which is located within the unit boundary. Fire will reduce conifer encroachment, improve browse for big game and improve the overall health of the fire adapted plant communities. T21S R3E Sec 11/14
    • Hills Creek Meadow Restoration:
      • South Complex: (33 acres) The Hills Creek South Complex is a series of meadows which will be broadcast burned in order to reduce conifer encroachment into the meadow. The re-introduction of fire will improve the health and vigor of fire adapted plant communities while also improving browse for big game. T21S R3E Sec 26/35
    • Jim’s Creek Savanna Restoration Project:
      • Jim’s Creek: (12 acres) The Jim’s Creek Savanna Restoration Project aims to restore ponderosa pine and Oregon white oak savanna. The goal of the project is to once again return the project area to a FRCC 1. In addition utilize fire to improve browse for big game and to reduce the conifer encroachment that is already starting to occur in the project area following the commercial harvest. T 24S, R 3E, Sec. 11.
         


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