Vale District Bureau of Land Management implementing seasonal prescribed burns

VALE — (Release from BLM)  As temperatures drop and fall precipitation arrives, the Vale District Bureau of Land Management is implementing seasonal prescribed fire projects and continuing juniper treatments across the Malheur and Baker field offices.  

Pre-planned prescribed fire projects may take place at specific locations (such as the Castle Rock Area, Chukar Park, Mormon Basin, Durkee, and Plano Road Area) any time between November 2023 and early May 2024.  

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. 

Prescribed fire is an important component of natural resource management and part of the comprehensive fire management program in the Vale District. It is used to reduce buildup of hazardous fuels, improving wildlife habitat and promoting long-term rangeland ecosystem integrity and sustainability by reducing the risk of high-severity wildland fire.  

Burn operations are conducted within specific parameters, including air quality, temperature, relative humidity, fuel moisture, wind speed and other factors. Actual project ignition depends upon site-specific weather and fuel conditions.  

Each burn operation represents many months of planning and preparation to reduce buildup of hazardous fuels. Priority will be placed on burning within Durkee Area when smoke windows become available, then Northwest Malheur Project in the Castle Rock Area.  

Malheur Field Office  

Prescribed Fire Treatment Areas include: West Castle Rock– 393 acres of machine piles, 4 mile N of Beulah Reservoir; Castle Rock Salvage – 166 acres of machine piles, 6 miles NW of Beulah Reservoir; Hat Butte – 1,278 acres of hand piles, 9 miles NW of Beulah Reservoir; Hunter Camp – 26 acres of hand piles, 2 acres N of Beulah Reservoir, Chukar Park – One debris pile, 6 miles NW of Juntura;  

Baker Field Office  

Prescribed Fire treatment areas include: Rooster Combs – 285 acres of machine pile burning located in Rooster Combs off Clarks Creek Road, approximately 22 miles southeast of Baker City; South Bridgeport – 250 acres of hand piles, located south of Bridgeport, approximately 20 miles southeast Baker City; Wood Gulch – 147 acres of hand piles, located approximately 2 miles N of Durkee; Lost Basin – 273 acres of hand piles, located approximately 2 miles S of Durkee; Gold Hill -379 acres of hand piles, 5 miles SE of Durkee, East Face – 67 acres of machine piles, located 15 miles S of LaGrande.