UDPATE: The Ochoco National Forest has rescheduled the prescribed burn for Wednesday and Thursday, due to wet fuels.
PAULINA, OR (09/25/17) -- Fire managers plan to take advantage of last week’s rain and conduct a 3,800-acre prescribed burn in the Ochocos, this week. "The Forest Service recognizes that ‘boy, we just got out of this really big fire season,’ and people are really tired of dealing smoke; they’re really tired of hearing about fire," says Patrick Lair, with the Ochoco National Forest. "But, this little window of opportunity is probably the last one we’re going to have this year." He points to this fire season as an example of the importance of fuels reduction work.
Lair says Crews burned the boundary of the unit last fall, but a big rain event forced them to push the rest of the project to this year. "We have very narrow windows of opportunity to complete prescribed burning, where the fuels are wet enough that they won’t really take off running if they catch on fire, but they’re dry enough so they will burn." And, he tells KBND News, it's also the perfect time to have the least amount of impact on hunters. "Fall hunting is a really big deal in the Ochocos; people come from all over for the deer and elk hunt, here. This is the week that falls in between archery and rifle deer season, and it also happens to line up with expected weather and fuel conditions that could be just right for getting this burn done."
Weather permitting, crews will start ignitions around 11 a.m. Tuesday, south of Black Canon Wilderness. Smoke could linger near Paulina through the end of the week.