Umatilla National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
72510 Coyote Road
Pendleton, OR 97801
Chris Johnson - Fuels Program Manager
Joby Sciarrino - Walla Walla District
Andrew Stinchfield - North Fork John Day District
Tara Mackleit - Pomeroy District
Doug Baxter - Heppner District
PENDLETON, Ore. – Fire management officials on the Pomeroy Ranger District will begin implementing the fall prescribed burn plan on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, which could impact camping and hunting opportunities in the area.
The Pomeroy Ranger District’s upcoming prescribed burns consist of up to 12 burns, totaling approximately 400 acres. The burn units are located approximately 10 miles west of Anatone, WA near Cloverland Sno-Park and Hogback Ridge. The objective of these burns is to reduce the slash load remaining after recent timber harvest activities from the Little George, North Park and South Park timber sales. Burning the slash left behind in these areas will also help prepare the sites for spring tree planting.
Frequent, low-intensity fire is essential for healthy forests and reducing the risk of uncharacteristic wildfire caused by excessive fuel buildup. Prescribed burning is an effective tool for removing excessive amounts of brush, shrubs, and trees, while also encouraging the growth of native vegetation. However, prescribed burning is highly dependent on weather conditions, which have to be within a narrow criteria window in order to use prescribed fire. Factors such as wind speed and direction, temperatures, relative humidity, and fuel moistures are all taken into consideration prior to implementing a prescribed burn operation.
“From a restoration objective standpoint, late summer and fall provide the best opportunities for the timing of prescribed fires,” said Chris Johnson, Deputy Fire Staff Officer. “Fire behavior during fall weather conditions are more likely to align with how the native vegetation has adapted to fire.”
Each prescribed burn represents many years of planning and preparation to ensure burn operations meet prescriptive conditions that allow for successful burns that provide multiple benefits to resources. The forest works closely with the Oregon Department of Forestry and Washington Department of Natural Resources in accordance with the State’s Smoke Management Plans to determine when, where, and how much is burned on a daily basis. Potential smoke impacts, looking at volume of smoke, direction of spread, and mixing heights, are determined prior to each burn. All burns will be monitored until a season ending rain or snow occurs.
Additional information on prescribed burning is available on the Umatilla National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/umatilla/ or at any forest office. Follow us on Facebook for up to date information on active prescribed burns at www.facebook.com/UmatillaNF.