Prescribed burn covers 1,200 acres

By Baker City Herald April 26, 2013 08:49 am

A larger-than-usual prescribed fire produced a larger-than-usual smoke plume on Thursday south of Baker City.

Forest Service crews burned about 1,200 acres, shooting incendiary devices from a helicopter to ignite the blaze, said Steve Hawkins of the Burnt-Powder Fire Zone.

The prescribed fire was in the Mill Creek and Glasgow Gulch areas on the south side of Dooley Mountain, near Highway 245.

Although fire crews have been lighting prescribed blazes on other parts of the Wallowa-Whitman recently, most of those fires were much smaller, at 200 to 400 acres, Hawkins said.

He said Thursday's fire accomplished the Forest Service's objectives, which include preventing logs, limbs and other combustible stuff from piling up, which increases the risk of summer wildfires.

The area targeted Thursday was last burned, also with prescribed fire, about 15 years ago, Hawkins said.