Blue Mountain and Prairie City Ranger Districts will begin pile burning multiple units over the next couple months.
The piles are in areas where fire crews have completed fuels reduction projects, which include thinning and removing lower limbs from trees, and removing dead wood and brush from the forest floor. Pile burning is an effective way of eliminating woody debris, affording benefits to wildlife habitat, while lessening the risk of catastrophic wildfire and risk to firefighters in the event of a large scale fire. All burning is done within parameters set forth in an approved burn plan.
Burning will occur only if weather and air quality conditions allow for safe and successful burning and smoke dispersion. Burning may have some short-term impacts on air-quality levels, but will be accomplished during weather conditions minimizing impacts. When driving in areas of activity, please slow down, use headlights and be cautious of firefighters and equipment.
Ignitions are complete for approximately 2,000 acres total in the Knox unit of the Prairie City Ranger District, as well as the Crawford and 18 Road Corridor units on the Blue Mountain Ranger District.
Forest Officials are continuing to assess conditions for burning in the remaining units across the forest. Prescribed burns are weather dependant; timing of work on each unit will depend on weather and air quality.
Visitors can expect to see imtermittent smoke in each burn vacinity. Signs will be posted alerting visitors about upcoming burns. Forest visitors can expect to see engines and fire crews monitoring these fires until they are declared out.
To report a wildfire or to report theft or damage to government property, call the John Day Interagency Dispatch Center at 541-575-1321.