PRINEVILLE, Ore. – Fire managers on the Ochoco National Forest will take advantage of recent precipitation to burn hand piles this week along Forest Road 22 between Ochoco Ranger Station and Walton Lake, about 25 miles east of Prineville.
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.
This weekend’s rain showers brought up to a half-inch of precipitation across the forest, creating wet enough conditions to safely ignite the piles of brush and branches.
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.