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Federal land managers with the Central Oregon Fire Management Services organization have begun their fall prescribed burning programs. Bureau of Land Management officials completed an 11,000-acre prescribed burn in late September on Sutton Mountain, near Mitchell. Land managers throughout Central Oregon will now begin burning at other sites through November. They are intentionally starting fires under controlled conditions to reduce ground fuels that often make wildland fire suppression hazardous and costly. In addition, many prescribed burns improve wildlife habitat, prepare areas for tree planting and restore forest health. Smoke management is a primary concern of prescribed fire managers. Their burns must comply with air quality standards, and are only ignited when National Weather Service forecasts predict favorable winds and conditions. Signs will be posted along roads and highways where burns are occurring that may reduce visibility. Only authorized personnel will be allowed where burns occur. A brief description of the area’s major burn projects follows: Prineville District of the Bureau of Land Management: Two more Central Oregon burns are planned on Bureau of Land Management land this fall, after deer rifle hunting season. These projects are the 6,500-acre Rodgers Burn near Hampton and the 8,500-acre Maupin Butte Burn, southwest of Paulina. Ochoco National Forest: A 2,000-acre prescribed burn will be set on Tamarack Butte, about four miles north of the Rager Ranger Station on the Paulina District of the Ochoco National Forest. Another will be ignited to treat about 300 acres in the headwaters of Powell Creek, five miles north of the ranger station. Prescribed fire managers will burn an additional 300 acres throughout the district to prepare three sites for tree planting. They will also burn 36 acres along forest roads where fuel has been stacked into piles to be burned later to reduce fire danger. The Lookout Mountain Ranger District of the Ochoco National Forest will have six prescribed burns that will reduce a build-up of hazardous fuels. The 1,400-acre Zane Burn is planned for the east end of Big Summit Prairie. The Cold Springs Burn will treat about 1,000 acres, one mile east of Cold Springs Guard Station. Finally, the Ahalt Burn is a 300-acre project located half a mile north of Walton Lake. Three other burns are planned northeast of Prineville on the Lookout Mountain Ranger District. The Trout Creek Thin with Fire, Mill Creek Thin with Fire and Catfish-Trout Creek Burns will each reduce hazardous fuels on about 500 acres. On the Deschutes National Forest, prescribed burning is scheduled in many areas also. Visit the Central Oregon Fire Management Services website at www.fs.fed.us/ r6/centraloregon/cofms/2001_rx_fire_news.html to view a map showing prescribed burns planned for Central Oregon.