A prescribed fire will take place on 78 acres in Shevlin Park on Tuesday and is expected to bring smoke to Bend’s west-side neighborhoods and cause the closure of the park for at least one day.

The burn is meant to maintain forest health and reduce the potential negative effects of a severe wildfire in the park, according to a release from Bend Park & Recreation District. The Deschutes National Forest is coordinating the burn with assistance from the park district’s natural resources team and other local partners.

The burn will occur in two areas, including a 56-acre unit in an expanded portion of Shevlin Park that was a former tree farm. Authorities will also burn a 22-acre unit in the Fremont Meadow area, located on the west side of Tumalo Creek.

The Bend Park & Recreation District, which uses prescribed fire as part of its vegetation management plans, reintroduced prescribed fire to Shevlin Park in 2017 and has burned 150 total acres in the past two years.

The public is invited to tour the burn while it’s in progress. Tours will be conducted Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., departing from the parking lot at Shevlin Park. While safety clothing will be provided, attendees are required to bring sturdy, closed-toe shoes.

The tour will require a 1-mile walk each way, including a quarter-mile of steep terrain. Community members interested in the tour need to prearrange the visit by contacting cocohesivestrategy@gmail.com .

Residents living near Shevlin Park are encouraged to keep doors and windows closed during the burn to prevent smoke from entering the home. This is especially important at night when colder temperatures bring smoke back to ground level. Smoldering from the fire could last for several days after the burn.

— Reporter: 541-617-7818, mkohn@bendbulletin.com

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