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Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District begins pile burning in several locations

KTVZ file

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Fuels specialists on the Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District began to ignite piles in several spots on Friday afternoon, with ignitions lasting one day.

The piles are spread across several locations, including, in the vicinities of Lava Lands Visitor Center, Mount Bachelor, Fall River, Crane Prairie, and adjacent to the Forest Service 42 and 21 roads. Piles across all locations total nine acres.

No road or trail closures are anticipated, officials said. 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, 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 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 on Twitter @CentralORFire. For further questions contact the Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District at (541) 383-5300.

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