With the onset of recent precipitation across Central Oregon, fire managers on the Crooked River National Grassland and the Ochoco National Forest will begin pile burning this week, and will continue seeking opportunities throughout the fall and into the winter.
Tomorrow, (Friday, October 21) firefighters will ignite 68 acres of hand piles located at the base of Grizzly Mountain along Highway 26 between Madras and Prineville.
The juniper slash is left over from a thinning project and commercial firewood sale along the southern boundary of the Grassland, near Mile Post 16, about 8 miles northwest of Prineville.
Objectives for the burn are simply to remove leftover juniper slash material so land managers can reseed the area with native grasses.
Light smoke will be visible for one day during active ignitions, but is not expected to impact the highway or passing motorists.
Following this burn, managers will seek an opportunity to burn slash piles within the Bailey Butte fire salvage area, near Ochoco Divide, just east of Highway 26.
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.
Fire managers are planning these pile burns in coordination with Crook County Fire and Rescue and in observance of the weather and applicable air quality advisories.
The Forest and Grassland appreciate public tolerance of temporary smoke conditions in support of this work.