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Pile burning underway near Bend, La Pine and Sunriver

Pile burning
KTVZ file

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Starting Monday and going through Wednesday, firefighters on the Deschutes National Forest plan to ignite several burn piles outside of Bend, La Pine and Sunriver.

As conditions remain favorable, firefighters will begin igniting hand piles at the following locations:

  • Pine Mountain Observatory – Near Millican
  • Bob/Jag/Puma/Junction –5 miles west of Sunriver
  • Tp Roadside  – Near Camp II on China Hat Rd, 15 miles from Bend
  • Loki – Near FS Rd 9735, 5 miles East of Hwy 97/State Recreation Road
  • UDR 25 – At Pringle Falls CG, 5 miles west of La Pine
  • Puma 103 – West of Harper’s Bridge in Sunriver
  • 2220 Roadside – South of Finley Butte, near La Pine
  • Garden Spot – Near Hwy 31, 15 miles east of La Pine

Crews will likely take 1-2 days to complete these ignitions, and fire and smoke will be visible for several days. No road closures are anticipated.

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.

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, officials said. The piles are concentrations of leftover materials associated with previous vegetation management activities intended to remove hazardous fuels that can burn during summer wildfires. 

The public’s health is important to the Forest Service. While significant preventive measures are taken, many factors influence a person’s susceptibility to smoke, including severity and duration of smoke exposure and a person’s health. If individuals feel impacted by smoke, they should avoid outdoor physical exertion and remain indoors.

If people experience serious health impacts from the smoke, they should contact their doctor. For more information about smoke and health, visit the Oregon Health Authority recommendations through this link: http://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/Preparedness/Prepare/Pages/PrepareForWildfire.aspx#health

Fuels specialists will follow policies outlined in the Oregon Department of Forestry smoke management plan, which governs smoke from 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. 

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