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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.

Confirmed Cases: 22613

Reported Deaths: 385
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah5186101
Washington325827
Marion309073
Umatilla239832
Clackamas162749
Malheur86915
Deschutes62711
Lane6154
Jackson5362
Yamhill50213
Lincoln4319
Union3972
Jefferson3964
Morrow3933
Polk35012
Linn31511
Hood River2150
Klamath2062
Wasco1993
Benton1826
Douglas1591
Josephine1362
Columbia1031
Coos930
Clatsop880
Baker520
Crook511
Tillamook350
Lake320
Wallowa201
Curry170
Sherman160
Harney110
Gilliam40
Grant40
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 613101

Reported Deaths: 11148
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2188315215
Riverside45662881
Orange42854789
San Bernardino39374561
San Diego34065622
Kern25888204
Fresno19157203
San Joaquin14651261
Alameda14558219
Santa Clara13865208
Sacramento13615199
Tulare12105205
Stanislaus11953195
Contra Costa10756152
Imperial10035257
Ventura909095
San Francisco805369
Santa Barbara727477
San Mateo6803126
Merced677789
Monterey589041
Marin567482
Kings524364
Solano459641
Sonoma406351
Madera292447
Placer254327
San Luis Obispo243918
Yolo196646
Santa Cruz13716
Butte137012
Napa120611
Sutter10917
El Dorado8272
San Benito8154
Yuba7404
Lassen6950
Mendocino52910
Shasta48810
Glenn4363
Colusa4095
Nevada3621
Tehama3121
Humboldt3094
Lake2682
Amador20811
Calaveras1741
Mono1601
Tuolumne1602
Inyo1275
Siskiyou1110
Del Norte1060
Mariposa632
Plumas390
Trinity80
Sierra60
Modoc50
Alpine20
Unassigned00
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