Residents of Central Oregon could see some smoke in the air this week, as the U.S. Forest Service attempts to conduct several prescribed burns in advance of fire season.
Agency spokeswoman Jean Nelson-Dean says the projects cover roughly a thousand acres in the Deschutes National Forest. She says smoke could be visible both south and west of Bend, as well as in the areas around Sunriver and Crescent.
The timing of the burns will depend on the weather. Nelson-Dean says the agency works closely with the Oregon Department of Forestry to determine when conditions are appropriate.
“That’s why we call it a prescribed fire, because there’s a whole bunch of different factors that go into whether we’re actually going to do a burn on any given day,” Nelson-Dean says.
Nelson-Dean says the agency is also wrapping up about 12,000 acres of so called “vegetation treatments” within the Deschutes National Forest. She says that includes mowing, thinning, and hand piling. Forecasters are predicting Central Oregon could see a more intense fire season this year than in years past.