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Bend-Fort Rock firefighters begin two weeks of pile burning off Skyliners Road

Landing pile burning operation off Skyliner Road west of Bend
US Forest Service file
Landing pile burning operation off Skyliner Road west of Bend

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District firefighters began ignitions Friday of landing piles west of Bend, on the north and south sides of Skyliners Road.

Firefighters will continue ignitions over the next couple of weeks, as conditions are favorable. Smoke and flames may be visible from Skyliners Road and trails within the Phil’s Trailhead network.

Residents in communities near Skyliners Road are encouraged to keep doors and windows closed to help decrease smoke impacts.

Deschutes National Forest Public Affairs Specialist Jaimie Olle explained regarding landing piles:

"Landing piles are concentrations of woody debris, like limbs and branches, remaining after forest restoration activities such as thinning and mastication. The leftover material can’t be made into usable forest products.

"Landing piles are typically constructed using machinery, making them larger in size than hand piles, which are stacked by hand. Burning these piles of debris in the winter reduces fuels loading in these areas, which reduces the risk of wildfire and prepares these areas to receive low intensity fire through the application of prescribed burning."

Firefighters select pile burning units for ignition based on moisture levels, forecasted weather and conditions predicted to move smoke away from communities where possible. Piles may smolder, burn, and produce smoke for several days after ignition. Once ignited, firefighters monitor piles until they are declared out. Please do not report ignitions.

While smoke may linger in the area, removing these large accumulations of woody debris during the winter months minimizes fire danger. The landing piles are concentrations of leftover materials associated with vegetation management activities being done to reduce hazardous fuels loading adjacent to communities.

What does this mean for you?

The possibility exists for smoke to settle in low-lying areas due to cool night-time temperatures.

  • When driving in smoky areas, drivers should slow down and turn on headlights
  • If you have heart or lung disease, asthma, or other chronic conditions, ask your doctor about how to protect yourself from smoke
  • Go to to learn more about smoke safety and pile burning in Central Oregon

For more information on hazardous fuels reduction projects in Central Oregon, visit or and follow us on Twitter @CentralORFire. Text “COFIRE” to 888-777 to receive wildfire and prescribed fire text alerts.

This work is occurring within the Central Oregon Landscape, one of 21 focal landscapes identified within the Forest Service’s Wildfire Crisis Strategy. The implementation of this work supports the Deschutes National Forest’s commitment to addressing the Wildfire Crisis Strategy which aims to reduce severity of wildfires, protect communities, and improve the health and resiliency of fire-dependent forests.

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