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Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District crews to conduct pile burning beside Highway 97 near Lava Butte

US Forest Service file

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — Firefighters on the Deschutes National Forest's Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District plan to conduct pile-burning operations this week adjacent to Highway 97 between Lava Butte north to the weigh station.

Ignitions are slated for Tuesday, but could occur later in the week, based on conditions. Smoke and flames will be visible from the Highway 97 corridor. Signage will be in place to alert drivers of pile burning operations, officials said.

Piles may smolder, burn and produce smoke for several days after ignition. Once ignited, firefighters monitor piles until they are declared out. The Forest Service asks that you please 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 piles are concentrations of leftover materials associated with vegetation management activities being done to help maintain and restore forest and ecosystem health, while reducing hazardous fuels loading.

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 on Twitter @CentralORFire. Text “COFIRE to 888-777 to receive wildfire and prescribed fire text alerts.

Article Topic Follows: Fire Alert

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