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Bend-Fort Rock, Crescent ranger districts continuing pile burning

KTVZ file

(Update: Adding Crescent Ranger District burning near Hwys. 97-58 junction)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Fuels specialists on the Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District plan to conduct pile burning across the district over the next two days, providing conditions remain favorable.

Piles slated for burning are located near the following areas: Lava Lands Visitor Center entrance, Lava Lake, Crane Prairie Reservoir, Hosmer Lake, Snow Creek, Fall River, four miles southeast of Mt. Bachelor and five miles northeast of La Pine.

No road or trail closures are anticipated. Smoke impacts are expected to be minimal. Once ignited, piles are monitored by firefighters until declared out.

Meanwhile, the Crescent Ranger District plans to conduct a total of 293 acres of pile burning over the next two days. If conditions remain favorable on Tuesday and Wednesday, fuels specialists plan to ignite piles located southeast of the Highways 58/97 junction.

No road or trail closures are anticipated. Smoke may be visible from Highway 97. Firefighters will monitor the highway for smoke impacts and place warning signs where precautions may be needed. Once ignited, piles are monitored by firefighters until declared out.

Piles may smolder, burn, and produce smoke for several days after ignition, officials said. While smoke may linger in the area, there is a real benefit to burning this type of vegetation. The piles are concentrations of leftover materials associated with previous vegetation management activities intended to remove hazardous fuels that can burn during summer wildfires.

Fire management officials work with Oregon Department of Forestry smoke specialists to analyze weather conditions and anticipated smoke dispersion to determine burn dates. 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.

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  www.fs.usda.gov/deschutes and follow on Twitter @CentralORFire. For further questions contact the Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District at (541) 383-5300.

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