PRINEVILLE, Ore. – Fire managers on the Ochoco National Forest plan to take advantage of forecasted snow over the weekend to ignite hand piles next week along Forest Service Road 22 leading to Walton Lake.
The hand pile unit is roughly 100 acres, located about 25 miles east of Prineville along a five-mile stretch of road beginning at Ochoco Ranger Station.
Light smoke will be visible during ignition periods but will be short in duration. Prescribed fire signs will be placed along the road. Burning will continue as long as weather and fuel conditions allow.
The piles are left over from a mechanical thinning project to reduce hazardous fuels and fire danger along the popular route. Piles created from this type of treatment are allowed to dry for one to two years to reduce smoke emissions and increase consumption of piled material.
Fuels specialists follow policies outlined in the Oregon Smoke Management Plan, which governs prescribed fires (including pile burning) and attempts to minimize impacts to visibility and public health.