HINES - The U.S. Bureau of Land management and Forest Service fire managers from the Burns Interagency Fire Zone are preparing to take advantage of favorable weather conditions to begin the fall prescribed fire season at several locations in Harney County.
A total of five cooperative fire projects involving approximately 14,000 acres of public and private lands will be treated with prescribed fire this fall.
Two burns will be on Steens Mountain in the area of Stone House Canyon and Cucamonga Creek.
The other projects will be north of Burns in the Otis Mountain area, Spring Canyon area and Rim Rock area.
The initial burning operations could begin during the week of Sept. 9-14, weather and fire conditions permitting.
"Planning for these prescribed burns has involved a multi-year process involving technical and scientific views, state level reviews, formalized agreements and environmental analysis designed to meet resource management objectives which include juniper control, wildlife habitat improvement, enhancement of forage production and hazardous fuels reduction," said Ray Hermit, BIFZ Management Officer.
Application of fire by ground and aerial methods will be conducted over the next several months, and the public will experience smoke and increased traffic congestion near the projects.
PRINEVILLE - Fire managers have begun igniting prescribed burns which will encompass more than 13,000 acres designed to restore ecosystems and improve wildlife forage on United States Department of the Interior Bureau of Land management and national Park Service land within the Prineville District of the Ochoco and Deschutes National Forests.
The burns will promote the growth of native grasses that deer and elk feed upon, and they will also improve habitat such as aspen stands that provide thermal cover.
Wildlife biologists have determined prescribed burning immediately improves the quantity and quality of wildlife habitat.
All of the burns will take two to four days to complete. Some of the projects Central Oregon fire managers have planned include:
Near Cougar Gulch subdivision about 12 miles northwest of Mitchell. The 4,150-acre Sand Mountain Burn is located one mile east of the subdivision, and will be ignited Sept. 15 on private, Bureau of Land Management land and on John Day Fossil Beds National Monument land.
John Day Fossil Beds National Monument fire managers will implement the Middle Mountain Burn on Sept. 19. The fire will consume 1,100 acres of national Park Service land, 280 acres of private land and 420 acres of BLM land.
The Battle Creek Burn, 10 miles west of Dayville, will be set on Sept. 17 and is scheduled to consume 400 acres. This burn will be completed in one day.
The Johnson Creek Burn is set for Sept. 21, and will consume about 1,200 acres. Fire managers will post signs along Highway 19, warning motorists that smoke may drift from the burn to the Longview Ranch Road and the Highway 19 junction.
On Sept 24, firefighters will ignite the Herb Asher Burn which will cover 120 acres about 14 miles northwest of Dayville.