Central Oregon–Recent rain and snow accumulations coupled with cool fall temperatures will allow fuels specialists across the Deschutes National Forest to begin burning slash piles.
Beginning next week, and continuing through the next several weeks and months depending on conditions, specialists will begin burning a variety of units across the forest starting in the southern end of the forest on the Crescent Ranger District.
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. The piles are concentrations of leftover materials associated with previous vegetation management activities intended to remove hazardous fuels that can burn during summer wildfires.
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.
For more information, visit the Deschutes website at www.fs.usda.gov/deschutes and follow us on twitter @CentralORFire.