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PRINEVILLE, OR -- Prineville, ORE. — Central Oregon firefighters plan to burn juniper slash left over from a large thinning project in the Willow Creek drainage of Crooked River National Grassland today. Nearby residents and motorists along Highway 26 can expect to see light smoke this afternoon. Firefighters plan to ignite about 56 acres of juniper slash today before predicted moisture arrives later this week. The burn units are located about 7 miles south of Madras in and around the Willow Creek canyon, just east of the highway. Ignitions will last about 4 hours. The heaviest concentrations of smoke will be in the area for a few hours following ignitions, with light smoke lingering in the area for about 1-2 days depending on the incoming weather. The slash is left over from a large-scale restoration project in the Willow Creek drainage. The project removed thousands of junipers to restore range conditions and water availability. Fuels specialists follow policies outlined in the Oregon Department of Forestry smoke management plan, which governs prescribed fires (including juniper burning) and attempts to minimize impacts to visibility and public health. For more information, visit http://www.centraloregonfire.org/ or follow us on Twitter @CentralORFire 

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