STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Prescribed Fires to Begin in South Central Oregon

Government fire managers will be setting fires now—in order to prevent them later.

Posted: Mar 30, 2018 5:03 PM
Updated: Mar 30, 2018 5:57 PM

LAKEVIEW, Ore. — Residents of South Central Oregon will soon be seeing smoke and flame on the horizons. However, the fires beginning this spring will be those intentionally groomed by fire managers of the South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership.

"Prescribed fires" are used selectively, as a way of reducing hazardous fuels—such as dry grasses, small shrubs and trees—according to a statement from the Partnership. By burning up these fuels now, they say, the possibility of high-intensity or severe wildfires later in the season will be greatly reduced.

These controlled burns also help to improve the overall health of the forest and wildlife habitat, according to the Partnership. Fires serve to recycle nutrients back into the soil.

Certain conditions dictate when and where prescribed fires can be set. Warmer temperatures, reduced snow pack, adequate humidity and favorable winds for smoke management all determine how firefighters apply their flames.

The Oregon Department of Smoke Management Office is in charge of determining if the daily weather conditions are suitable for smoke dispersal. If weather conditions are approved, then firefighters ignite a test fire before expanding to the full prescribed burn—otherwise, the fire is postponed for another day, according to the Partnership statement.

“The snow and wet weather over the past couple months has been welcome, but now that things are warming up and drying out again we are hoping to resume active work to reduce the hazardous fuels which can contribute to larger wildfires during the summer fire season,” said Interagency Fire Management Officer Barry Shullanberger. “We’re still hoping for spring rains and for the snowpack we do have to hold up, but we are also looking forward to getting back out on the ground ahead of the summer fire season.”

Prescribed fire announcements will be posted at local ranger stations and federal offices prior to ignition. According to the Partnership statement, the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Fish and Wildlife Service are "committed to a safe and successful prescribed fire season for the public and employees."

The South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership consists of fire managers from the Fremont-Winema National Forest, the Bureau of Land Management Lakeview District, U.S. Fish ad Wildlife Service, and the Sheldon-Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Lists of the areas in South Central Oregon where prescribed burns are planned can be found below.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 359733

Reported Deaths: 4295
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah56103709
Washington39002324
Marion37013454
Clackamas29983309
Lane27945302
Jackson23165310
Deschutes20559125
Umatilla14521150
Linn13048131
Douglas12196250
Josephine9430197
Yamhill8752113
Klamath8081119
Polk740581
Malheur565278
Benton555331
Coos507894
Columbia386044
Jefferson379553
Lincoln324239
Union321149
Crook293946
Wasco291141
Clatsop244728
Baker204129
Tillamook197932
Hood River194737
Morrow185723
Curry181325
Harney114427
Grant100213
Lake94812
Wallowa69312
Gilliam1564
Sherman1523
Wheeler1101
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4855616

Reported Deaths: 71443
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles148576926552
Riverside3716705041
San Diego3682674196
San Bernardino3586775720
Orange3251235578
Sacramento1596362313
Kern1472941652
Fresno1463182094
Santa Clara1455431897
Alameda1206921415
San Joaquin1027761721
Ventura1010381167
Contra Costa1000181008
Stanislaus867381338
Tulare80375978
San Francisco54440649
San Mateo54168623
Monterey50911586
Solano46063341
Santa Barbara45223523
Merced42422581
Sonoma40997404
Placer39435429
Imperial36071766
Kings32938325
San Luis Obispo29973333
Madera23955285
Shasta23924354
Butte23818273
Santa Cruz21034221
Yolo20397248
Marin17706244
El Dorado17207149
Sutter13937175
Napa12898100
Yuba1011582
Tehama9534110
Humboldt9269109
Nevada916790
Mendocino766788
Lassen761848
San Benito744974
Tuolumne691790
Lake6631105
Amador547364
Siskiyou451246
Glenn438433
Calaveras391481
Del Norte358742
Colusa307618
Inyo214241
Mono16723
Plumas16607
Mariposa137017
Trinity88011
Modoc6895
Sierra1880
Unassigned1460
Alpine1050
Out of CA00
Medford
Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 55°
Brookings
Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 54°
Crater Lake
Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 35° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 55°
Grants Pass
Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 55°
Klamath Falls
Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 44°
Drier and warmer days ahead
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events