With the recent rain, cooler temperatures and shorter days, fire management personnel on the Hood River and Barlow Ranger Districts of the Mt. Hood National Forest anticipate the start of fall pile burning season to begin next week and to continue over the next several weeks or months, depending on conditions.
Pile burning will take place at various locations throughout both districts and will occur when adequate moisture is present. East Zone fire managers plan to treat over 2,800 acres of slash piles this fall as conditions permit.
Fire personnel may be igniting slash piles along the following Forest Service Roads (FSR) this fall:
Barlow Ranger District
Hood River Ranger District
Additional areas with slash piles may be targeted for burning as weather permits.
The slash to be burned is the result of hazardous fuels reduction projects, timber sales and miscellaneous project work. Slash piles are created by thinning timber stands, as well as the removal of dead wood and brush from the forest floor. Slash is placed in piles and left to cure before burning. Ignitions will cease early in the afternoon each day to allow piles and fuels to burn down prior to evening inversions, reducing smoke impacts to the area.
Smoke may be visible in the vicinity during ignition operations and for a short time after lighting has been completed. No closures are anticipated with these operations. However, if smoke drifts on to roads, motorists should slow down, turn on headlights, and proceed with care. Once ignited, burn units are monitored by firefighters until they are declared out.
Fuels specialists follow policies outlined in the Oregon Department of Forestry smoke management plan, which governs prescribed fires (including pile burning). These guidelines help minimize impacts to visibility and public health.
For smoke and prescribed fire information, visit the Mt. Hood Forest Facebook page, Twitter or the Forest website.
The public may also contact Rick Lancaster, fuels specialist, at the Barlow Ranger District office; 541-467-2291.