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Contact: Greg Funderburk, (541)594-3062
Contact: Marsha McCabe, (541)594-3091
Fire managers at Crater Lake National Park are monitoring weather, fuels, and smoke management forecasts, in anticipation of implementing the Upper Panhandle prescribed fire starting as early as Friday, October 15.
The 423 acre Upper Panhandle Prescribed Burn Unit is located on the southern boundary of the park, just east of Annie Creek. Vegetation within the burn unit consists primarily of Ponderosa pine, lodgepole pine, mixed conifer, and shrubs. Ignitions will take approximately three days to complete.
The National Park Service uses prescribed fire as a tool to help reduce the intensity of future fires by removing unnatural accumulations of forest fuels resulting from fire suppression. The re-introduction of periodic, low intensity burning will improve forest health by reducing the amount of dead woody debris that can lead to larger, more intense fires during hot summer conditions. Fire encourages establishment and re-growth of grasses, shrubs, and trees and increases habitat diversity for wildlife.
Weather and fire behavior will be monitored before, during, and after ignition is completed to ensure desired fire effects are achieved. Smoke production will be managed using forecasts and monitoring. Firefighters will patrol and monitor the burn unit until the prescribed fire is completely out.
All park roads and trails are expected to remain open while this prescribed fire is in progress. However, there may be temporary traffic delays on Highway 62 near the Panhandle. For additional information about this project, please call the Crater Lake National Park Fire Management Office at 541-594-3062.