As conditions become favorable, the Barlow Ranger District plans to implement a series of prescribed burns west of Wamic over the next several weeks.
Prescribed burns are critical tools used to restore healthier, more resilient fire-adapted forests. They reduce the potential for large wildfires, remove excess vegetation, and increase community and firefighter safety.
Depending on the weather, fire personnel may start ignitions as early as April 2 on the North and South Rock prescribed fire units. Both units are located approximately 3 miles SW of Pine Hollow and 5 miles west of Wamic.
The two areas are about 622 acres combined. Fire personnel are planning for up to three days of ignitions.
Visibility along Mt. Hood National Forest roads in the area and nearby Rock Creek Road may be temporarily reduced. Smoke may also be visible from Highway 197.
No road closures are anticipated, however access to Forest roads in the burn perimeter may be temporarily restricted while firefighters are actively lighting. Forest visitors traveling in the vicinity should use caution and adhere to any closures to provide for firefighter and public safety.
When smoke is present, motorists should slow down and turn on headlights. All efforts will be made to limit smoke impacts to area communities. The possibility exists for smoke to settle in low-lying areas due to cool night-time temperatures.
To minimize smoke, fire personnel work with Oregon Department of Forestry smoke specialists to analyze weather conditions and anticipate smoke dispersion. While significant preventive measures are taken, many factors influence a person’s susceptibility to smoke.
For more information about smoke and health, visit the Oregon Health Authority recommendations: http://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/Preparedness/Prepare/Pages/PrepareForWildfire.aspx#health