Fire is a natural part of a healthy ecosystem. Wildfires are a common occurrence in Central Oregon due to our high summer temperatures, low precipitation and humidity and numerous lightning strikes.
Due to the urban interface, fire suppression is common practice. This is important when saving life and property but it does not make for healthy natural areas. Park officials deal with vegetation management by thinning and burning.
Last year, a contractor was hired to thin some of the Juniper trees in the Deschutes Campground and Day-Use areas to lessen the potential effects of wildfire in the park. (Wood from this project was donated to local senior citizens that needed it for winter). You may have seen piles of cut branches in the park over the summer in 2014.
While some of the piles were left in place for erosion control and wildlife habitat; other areas were carefully burned over the winter and early spring of 2015.
This summer, see what has popped up in our burned areas…