SISTERS, OR -- Prescribed burns continue Wednesday, if conditions remain favorable.
Ignitions are planned for 9 a.m. near the Cascade Lakes Welcome Station, about a mile west of Bend. Crews will work a 231-acre unit, forcing the closure of portions of Ticket to Ride, COD and Westside Paved Path trails. Officials expect the trails to remain closed to the public for several days to allow firefighters to safely cool hot spots. Forest service crews will be assisted by Bend Fire, the nature conservancy and Interagency hot shots.
Northwest of Sisters, firefighters also plan to burn 138 acres adjacent to the Cold Springs Cutoff. While smoke will be visible, no closures are expected.
Local fire managers are getting extra help on prescribed burns, this month, through the Central Oregon Training Exchange Program. Jean Nelson Dean, with the Deschutes National Forest, says the prescribed burn season may come to an end sooner than initially planned, so the increase in manpower is appreciated. "It’s definitely going to be a much shorter timeframe. And, I guess, in a way, we’re fortunate that having these folks here and the weather window is at the same time, so we are being pretty aggressive. I think people are probably aware of that as they see more prescribed burning." She says nearly 40 firefighters from across the country are in Central Oregon as part of the exchange program. They learn about prescribed burning and how it’s used to prevent future wildfires.