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Deschutes National Forest plans prescribed burns Tuesday east of Sunriver near Lava River Cave and south of Crescent

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) Firefighters in the Deschutes National Forest plan prescribed fire operations Tuesday in the Bend-Fort Rock and Crescent ranger districts, east of Sunriver near Lava River Cave and south of Crescent.

Firefighters with the Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District are planning prescribed fire operations about 10 miles south of Bend, five miles east of Sunriver and a quarter mile east of the Lava Lands Visitor Center. If conditions are right, firefighters will burn up to 261 acres east of Highway 97 near the Cottonwood Road interchange and immediately east of Forest Service Road 9703, near Lava River Cave.

Ignitions on missile prescribed fire units 9,10,11 and 12 are scheduled for 10am. Smoke will be highly visible from Highway 97, Bend, La Pine and Sunriver. Sunriver and South Bend may experience some smoke impacts.

No road and trail closures are expected, although the public is asked to use caution and slow down where fire and firefighters are present along Forest Service Road 9703. This area was previously thinned and mowed before a low intensity fire rebounded from through prescribed burning. .

The Crescent Ranger District plans to conduct up to 58 acres of prescribed burning at the Five Mile Unit 14 Prescribed Burn, located about seven miles south of Crescent and about a mile north of the intersection of Highway 58 and Highway 97.

The ignitions are scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday. No road or trail closures are expected. Smoke will be visible from Highway 97 and Highway 58.

Prescribed burning reintroduces and sustains fire within a fire-dependent ecosystem, stabilizing and improving the resilience of forest conditions while increasing public and firefighter safety. Once firefighters have lit the prescribed burns, they patrol the units until they report the burnout.

These prescribed burns occur in the Central Oregon Landscape, one of 21 focus landscapes identified in the Forest Service’s Wildfire Crisis Strategy. Implementation of these prescribed burns supports Deschutes National Forest’s commitment to address the Wildfire Crisis Strategy, which aims to reduce the severity of wildfires, protect communities and improve the health and resiliency of fire-dependent forests.

Prescribed burns can protect homes from tragic wildfires. Fire officials are working with smoke specialists from the Oregon Department of Forestry to plan prescribed burns. Prescribed burns are performed when smoke is most likely to move upward and away from our communities. Although prescribed fire managers take significant preventative measures, it is likely that communities will experience some smoke during or immediately following a prescribed burn.

What does this mean for you?

Prescribed burns may cause smoke to settle in low-lying areas at night and in the early morning hours.

  • All residents are encouraged to close doors and windows at night to prevent smoke exposure.
  • If available, use a portable air purifier. Air purifiers work best with closed doors and windows. You can also make a DIY air purifier.
  • If you have a central air system, use it to filter air. Use high-efficiency filters if possible.
  • When driving in smoky areas, drivers should slow down, turn on the headlights and set the air to recirculation mode.
  • If you have heart or lung disease, asthma, or another chronic condition, pay attention to how you feel and if heart or lung disease symptoms worsen, consider contacting your doctor.
  • Visit centraloregonfire.org for more information about smoke safety and prescribed burning in Central Oregon and visit When Smoke is in the Air for more information about smoke preparedness.

For more information about prescribed burning in Central Oregon, visit centraloregonfire.org/ and for information specific to the Deschutes National Forest, visit www.fs.usda.gov/deschutes. Follow on X/Twitter @CentralORFire. Text “COFIRE” to 888-777 to receive wildfire alerts and prescribed fire texts.