As fall weather brings more moisture, shorter days, and cooler temperatures, fuels specialists are beginning to burn piles across the Deschutes National Forest.
Beginning this week and continuing through the next few months depending on conditions, specialists will begin burning a variety of units across the forest. This week, planned units across the Ranger Districts may be located in areas adjacent to Hwy 242, Crane Prairie area, east of Hwy 97 in the Walker Mtn area and northwest of La Pine.
The piles are concentrations of leftover materials associated with previous vegetation management activities intended to remove hazardous fuels that can burn during summer wildfires. Piles may smolder, burn, and produce smoke for several days after ignition. While smoke may linger in the area, there is a real benefit to burning this type of vegetation.
No closures are anticipated with these operations. However, if smoke drifts on to roads, motorists should slow down, turn on headlights, and proceed with care. Once ignited, units are monitored by firefighters until they are declared out.
Fuels specialists follow policies outlined in the Oregon Department of Forestry smoke management plan, which governs prescribed fires (including pile burning) and attempts to minimize impacts to visibility and public health.
To stay up to date, visit www.centraloregonfire.org or follow us on Facebook at Deschutes National Forest or Twitter at @CentralORFire for postings of active burn locations.