Forest Service to start burn piles in Newbery National Volcanic Monument

Fuels specialists will begin burning piles in the Newberry National Volcanic Monument this week, according to the Deschutes National Forest.

The pile units are visible along Forest Road 21 near East Lake and Paulina Lake.  There are 142 acres of hand, machine, and landing piles to be burned.  The material is residual slash from hazard tree harvest operations.  Pile burning in this area is expected to continue for several weeks.

Smoke may be visible from state highways and nearby Forest Roads and drivers may experience smoke impacts.  For all prescribed fires, signs will be posted on significant nearby Forest roads and state highways that could be impacted.  The public is encouraged to close their windows at night and if smoke is on the roadway, turn on headlights and slow down while traveling through smoky areas.

The public’s health is important to the Forest Service.  While significant preventative measures are taken, many factors influence a person’s susceptibility to smoke, including severity and duration of smoke exposure and a person’s health.  If individuals feel impacted by smoke, they should avoid outdoor physical exertion and remain indoors.  If people experience serious health impacts from the smoke, they should contact their doctor.  For more information about smoke and health, visit the Oregon Health Authority recommendations through this link: http://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/Preparedness/Prepare/Pages/PrepareForWildfire.aspx#health.

Fuels specialists will follow policies outlined in the Oregon Department of Forestry smoke management plan, which governs smoke from prescribed fires (including pile burning), and attempts to minimize impacts to visibility and public health.

Keep up with prescribed fire in Central Oregon by visiting: http://www.centraloregonfire.org, or text “COFIRE” to 888-777 to receive text alerts.

For more information, visit the Deschutes website at www.fs.usda.gov/deschutes and follow us on twitter @CentralORFire.

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