Malheur National Forest fire officials are monitoring conditions on the Forest and preparing to implement the fall prescribed fire program. Prescribed fires, also known as controlled burns, refer to the planned and controlled use of fire by a team of highly skilled fire managers under specific conditions. During the late summer and early fall months, the Forest has a number of planning units, ranging in size from 150 acres up to 4000 acres, scheduled for prescribed fire operations.
Prescribed fires are conducted within specific parameters including temperature, relative humidity, fuel moisture, and wind speed. Implementation is dependent upon these and other necessary conditions.
Fall burning will build upon efforts in the spring when the Forest safely and successfully accomplished prescribed fire operations on approximately 2600 acres. Spring operations reduced surface fuels, increased height of some canopy, reduced small tree densities, and helped promote fire resilient trees, thereby improving our ability to protect communities from wildfire. Additionally, these prescribed fires improve wildlife habitat, promote long-term ecosystem integrity and sustainability by reducing the risk of high-severity wildland fire.
Prescribed fire is an important component of natural resource management and part of the comprehensive fire management program on the Malheur National Forest. Each of these prescribed burn operations represents many months of planning and preparation. Prescribed burns are designed to both reduce the risk of larger and/or catastrophic wildfires as well to restore overall health of the National Forest System lands. Fire is an essential, natural process, having shaped the landscape for thousands of years, releasing, and recycling nutrients from vegetation, duff, and soil layers, improving the overall health of plants and animals.
Science over the last several decades has shed a great deal of light on the essential role that these low-intensity fires play in a fire-dependent forest like the Malheur National Forest. Prescribed fire, when used strategically and repeatedly across larger areas, helps sustain healthy forest ecosystems, reduces the risk of out-of-control fires, reduces the severity of future wildfires when they do occur, and keeps our communities and firefighters safer.
To ensure public and firefighter safety, roads, trails, and areas may need to close temporarily as firefighter operations are taking place. Smoky conditions may also reduce visibility to a level that would require additional temporary closures. During prescribed fire operations, there is potential for impacts to camping and recreational activities. Visitors are advised to plan ahead, for their safety they should not camp in or near an area of prescribed fire activity.
As dates for individual units are scheduled and conditions are met, announcements will be released, updates will also be posted to Inciweb at: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6299/ and the Malheur National Forest Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MalheurNationalForest.
Additional information regarding prescribed burning on the Malheur National Forest is available by viewing the Prescribed Fire Activity interactive map at http://arcg.is/2wUZIil.
With the potential for smoke to settle in certain areas during active operations, the public can monitor the smoke and air quality in our area and across the state by visiting, http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/.
For further information on the Malheur National Forest, please visit us at www.fs.usda.gov/malheur or call the Supervisor’s Office at 541-575-3000.
|Current as of|
|Incident Type||Prescribed Fire|
|Coordinates||44.418 latitude, -118.951 longitude|
Blue Mountain Ranger District will be working in the Galena unit 40b and continue monitoring conditions for further ignitions.
Emigrant Creek Ranger District will begin ignitions on a 200 acre under burn in the Silvies Unit 7, tomorrow, November 13. The unit is 3 miles south west of Silvies River crossing off of National Forest System road 31. This will be a two day ignition process.
Prairie City Ranger District will begin ignition of hand pile units near Dans Creek area and in the Elk 16 project area, starting tomorrow, November 13 into Wednesday. Fire staff will monitor conditions to possibly begin jackpot burning in the Elk 16 M units starting Thursday and Friday.
For the safety of firefighters and the public, roads and areas of prescribed fire activity will be signed, please avoid these areas so as not to interfere with ongoing operations. For safety, roads, trails, and areas may close temporarily as firefighter operations are taking place. Smoky conditions may also reduce visibility to a level that would require additional temporary closures. During prescribed fire operations, there is potential for impacts to camping and hunting. Hunters are advised to plan ahead, for their safety they should not camp in or near an area of prescribed fire activity.