The U.S. Forest Service has announced fall prescribed burns to begin soon in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. Fire officials will continue fuel reduction with several projects on approximately 12,000 acres.

The Wallowa-Whitman usually completes 10,000 to 15,000 acres of prescribed burns per year.

Rain and cooler weather have improved site conditions, and smoke dispersal forecasts will be used to determine where, when and how much to burn.

In most areas, prescribed burning is the last of a series of treatments for fuel reduction and follows harvest or other thinning activities that remove some trees while retaining the largest, healthiest trees of the most fire-resistant species, such as Ponderosa pine and western larch.

Smaller trees are removed so stands will be less susceptible to crown fires.

Prescribed burning completes the treatment by consuming much of the surface fuel accumulation. Prescribed burning is also planned to maintain stocking of understory and fuels accumulations to mimic natural fire intervals.

Forest Service and contract personnel will do the burning.

The prescribed burning projects and locations are:

Wallowa Fire Zone - 541 426-4978 (Wallowa Valley Ranger District, Hells Canyon NRA, and Eagle Cap Ranger District). Approximately 3,914 acres total.

Chesnimnus vicinity, 1260 acres.

Fire Ridge area, 654 acres.

Harl Butte area, 2000 acres.

Grande Ronde Fire Zone - 541 963-7186 (La Grande Ranger District). Approximately 3,035 acres total.

Moss Potter, approximately five air miles SE of Cove, 150 acres.

Horsefly, 15 air miles SW of La Grande, 1,500 acres.

Dark Meadow, 15 air miles W of La Grande, 700 acres.

Green Pelican, 10 air miles W and N of La Grande, 400 acres.

Bald Angel, seven air miles SE of Medical Springs, 285 acres.

Burnt-Powder Fire Zone - 541 523-4476 (Whitman Ranger District: Baker, Pine, and Unity). Approximately 4,875 acres total.

Woodtick, Unity Reservoir, 50 acres.

Whitney Valley area, 1700 acres.

Wolf Creek, W of North Powder, 50 acres.

Deer Creek, E of Sumpter, 650 acres.

Ebell Creek, SE of Baker City, 175 acres.

Baker City Watershed, 150 acres.

Sparta area, 1,000 acres.

Halfway area, 1,100 acres.

In addition, the Burnt-Powder Fire Zone will be burning piled fuels on 1,915 acres NW of Unity, Sumpter area, Baker City municipal watershed, Stices Gulch, Halfway area and the east face of the Elkhorns.

Smoke from prescribed burns may affect forest roads and dispersed campsites in the vicinity.

To avoid burn areas, hunters and other forest visitors are advised to check the prescribed burn maps posted on the forest website at (www.fs.fed.us/r6/w-w) before leaving home.

For information:

541 523-1262 or 541 523-1415.

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