Prescribed burning could begin Wednesday on Malheur National Forest

JOHN DAY, PRAIRIE CITY, HINES, OR – (Release from the Malheur National Forest)

Due to favorable weather conditions, the Malheur National Forest may begin Fall Prescribed Burning beginning Wednesday, October 14th, 2020.

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. It is only conducted when factors such as resource availability, air quality, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, and fuel moisture levels are ideal. All burns are done under carefully planned prescriptions and protocols to eliminate the risk of an escaped fire and smoke exposure to communities.

The Forest Service recognizes that hunting season coincides with prescribed burning season and can impact hunters, but controlled burns are necessary to reintroduce fire to the landscape and encourage healthy vegetation that will ultimately improve landscapes and forage for big game.

Hunters should be cautious when entering a recently burned area and be aware of increased hazards, particularly snags. Dead or dying trees that remain standing after a fire are unstable, especially in high winds. Don’t camp or hang out in the burned area. And, as always, let someone know your planned route, destination and expected return time.

Burning may take place at:

•Summit 5 is approx. 350 acres. South East of Logan Valley. T16s, R34E, Section 31. North of the NFS road 1647.

•Starr units 31, 32, 33 Approx. 1435 acres. South side of the National Forest System (NFS)road 24 and north of the NFS road 2400071, 9 miles west of Seneca. T16S, R30E, sec 29, 30& T16S, R29E, sec 24,25

•Starr units 6, 7, approx. 400 acres south of the NFS road 4920333 west of Highway (Hwy) 395. T15S, R30E sec 25

•Soda Bear Unit 4 and 4a approx. 700 acres. East of Hwy. 395 and east on the NFS road3925 to junction of NFS road 3925 and NFS road 3925297.

•George unit 103, east of the NFS road 250 approx. 3000 acres. T20E, R25S, sec 21, 22, 28,31, 33, 34, 35. North of NFS road 4545, west of NFS road 4540.

•Silvies unit 7 approx. 3400 acres. T20E, R 31S, sec 4, 5, 8, 9, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21 & T19E, R31S, sec 32 and 33. North of the NFS road 3110, west of the NFS 31.

•MD B, approx., 900 acres. T20S, R31E, sec 23,24,26,27. East of Hwy 395, north of NFS road2820, west of the NFS road 532.

•Summit 4, approx. 1500 acres. South of Logan Valley, T17s, R 33.5E, between Summit Creek and the Malheur River, off of NFS road 1647.

•Elk 16 L1, 491 acres. T16s, R35E, section 21. South of the NFS road 16, east of Halfway Creek.

Since prescribed burn operations are planned in advance, they have critical safety components in place and are carefully designed to occur within a combination of natural and constructed control lines. In 2020, we have increased coordination measures regarding COVID-19 mitigation.

With the potential for smoke to settle in certain areas during active operations the public can monitor our smoke and air quality and across the state by visiting:

http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com and Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7216/, Facebook @MalheurNationalForest, Twitter @MalheurNF,

For more information please call: 541-575-3000

For current Public Use Restrictions and Industrial Fire Precaution Levels call: 541-575-3113.