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Ochoco National Forest to begin 5,100 acres of pile-burning operations this week

U.S. Forest Service pile burning
U.S. Forest Service/file
U.S. Forest Service pile burning

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) — With the recent snowfall on the Ochoco National Forest, firefighters will begin pile-burning projects on Wednesday, officials say.

Firefighters will start in the McKay area near Forest Road 4260 and continue burning piles on various units as conditions allow.

There are approximately 5,100 acres of piles slated to be burned across the forest this winter. 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 road or trail closures are anticipated with this pile burning and smoke impacts are expected to be minimal.

Once ignited, piles are monitored by firefighters until declared out. Piles may smolder, burn, and produce smoke for several days after ignition. While smoke may linger in the area, removing these large accumulations of woody debris during the winter months minimizes fire danger.

When smoke is present, motorists should reduce speed and turn on headlights. All efforts will be made to limit smoke impacts to area neighborhoods and communities, officials said. The possibility exists for smoke to settle in low-lying areas due to cool nighttime temperatures. Residents in areas near burn operations are encouraged to close windows at night to avoid possible smoke impacts.

For more information on hazardous fuels reduction projects in Central Oregon, visit the interactive website at http://www.centraloregonfire.org/  or visit  https://www.fs.usda.gov/ochoco and follow us on Twitter @CentralORFire.

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