Local News

Pile Burning Continues Across Central Oregon

BEND, OR -- More ignitions are planned throughout this week on the Bend Fort-Rock Ranger District, as Forest Service crews continue pile burning operations. 

"This is leftover material, after we’ve come through and done mowing, mastication and thinning work," Says Jaimie Olle, with the Deschutes National Forest, "This is branches, limbs, things that aren’t able to be used and turned into wood products." She tells KBND News, "If you’re out in the forest, you might see some of those stacks of sticks, if you will - anything from a small 10x10 size, all the way up to what we call a landing pile, which is the larger pile about the size of a house."

Crews are focused on piles west of Bend, "That’s been the area that we’ve been primarily burning, off Skyliners Road and that area. So, folks can anticipate we’ll continue that work probably throughout January. And again, as conditions are favorable." Work Wednesday is concentrated seven miles west of Bend, on the south side of Cascade Lakes Highway. "We’re lighting those on fire. They burn down pretty quickly and consume. And that sets us up for success, to not only reduce hazardous fuels next to our communities. But also prepare those areas for when we come in and do what people typically think of as our prescribed burning, which is that understory burning, that low-intensity burning that we typically do in the spring and the fall."

Olle says they don’t typically send out text alerts, like we see in the spring and fall for prescribed burns, "Unless it’s something really close or adjacent to communities. Otherwise, you can pretty much count on most days we’re pile burning somewhere in the forest. But CentralOregonFire.org is a great website to stay in tune to where that might be occurring."

All operations are dependent on moisture levels, forecasted weather and wind direction.

file photo

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