BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Beginning Wednesday and continuing over the next several weeks, firefighters on the Deschutes National Forest plan to ignite several burn piles west of Sunriver and La Pine.
Burning will occur during mid-week, primarily on Wednesdays, officials said.
As conditions remain favorable, firefighters will begin igniting hand piles at the following locations:
- Puma – ½ mile west of Harper Bridge in Sunriver, near Spring River. Smoke and fire may be visible from Spring River Road. Signs will be in place.
- Bob/Jag – 5 miles west of Sunriver along both FS Roads 40 and 45. Smoke and fire may be visible from paved roads and high elevations like Mt Bachelor.
- Puma/Junction – 3 miles NW of La Pine along South Century Drive near Pistol Butte. Smoke and fire may be visible.
All units will take advantage of good smoke dispersion and winter-like conditions. 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 works 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.