Prescribed fire near Sisters sends smoke to Bend

No more burning likely the rest of the week, weekend

The smoke in Bend today is from a prescribed fire near Sisters, according to officials with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Forest Service.

Firefighters lit the fire at Glaze Meadow, adjacent to Black Butte Ranch, and burned about 80 acres in all, said Trevor Miller, a fuels technician with the Deschutes National Forest. He said the smoke from the fire had not been expected to move to Bend, but a combination of winds brought the smoke to town.

Winds should push it out of town soon, Miller said late this afternoon.

“(It’s) not expected to linger by any means,” he said.

There may be a break in the prescribed burning the rest of the week and the weekend, Miller said. Rain may fall tonight, and firefighters don’t plan to burn over the Easter weekend, he said. The prescribed fire is intended to improve wildlife habitat while lowering the likelihood of intense wildfire.

The smoke caused an increase in the amount of air pollution detected at a DEQ air monitor along the Deschutes River in Bend.

“It’s been going up since 3 o’clock today,” said Mark Bailey, eastern region air quality manager with the DEQ in Bend.

As of 4 p.m. the air quality rating in Bend was still good, according to DEQ data.