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Pile burning planned on 126 acres northeast of Tumalo Falls this week

U.S. Forest Service file

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Fuels specialists on the Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District plan to ignite 126 acres of hand piles and 131 acres of machine-made piles northeast of Tumalo Falls, adjacent to Forest Service Road 4601 this week.

Ignitions are slated to begin Wednesday and last through the week. If conditions aren’t conducive to complete ignitions this week, fuels specialists may return to this area later in November to finish pile burning, the Deschutes National Forest said.

Smoke from these piles will likely be visible in Bend and the surrounding area. Once ignited, piles are monitored by firefighters until declared out. No road or trail closures are anticipated; however, smoke and flames may be visible from the Mrazek Trail.

So far this fall, the Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District has conducted ignitions on about 5,500 piles across 1,000 acres.

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. The piles, created both by hand and machine, are concentrations of leftover materials associated with previous vegetation management activities intended to remove hazardous fuels that can burn during summer wildfires.

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 night-time 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 us on Twitter @CentralORFire. For further questions contact the Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District at (541) 383-5300.

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