With weather forecasts predicting sustained fall weather conditions, fuels specialists continue to burn piles across Central Oregon.
As part of this pile burning effort, the Prineville Bureau of Land Management intends to begin burning piles in several locations that may produce smoke in the La Pine basin along Highways 97 and 31, as early as next Monday.
Specialists expect operations to continue for 2-4 weeks as they burn piles on both sides of Highway 97 and Highway 31.
Piles are located within La Pine State Park and near several subdivisions including: Huntington Meadows, Antelope Meadows, Old Howard Estates, and Split Rail.
The piles are concentrations of leftover hazardous fuels associated with a project that reduced the potential for severe wildfire, increased firefighter and public safety, and promoted ecosystem health within the greater La Pine area.
No closures are anticipated with this project. However, smoke will be visible from many locations within the La Pine basin, including Highway 97 and Highway 31, for several days post ignitions.
If smoke drifts on to roads, motorists should slow down, turn on headlights, and proceed with care. Once ignited, units are monitored by firefighters until they are declared out.
Fuels specialists will follow policies outlined in the Oregon Department of Forestry smoke management plan, which governs prescribed fires (including pile burning) and attempts to minimize impacts to visibility and public health.
For more information, visit the Ochoco/Deschutes website at www.fs.usda.gov/centraloregon and follow us on twitter @CentralORFire.