As of Friday, December 16, 2016
Drivers on Interstate 84 in the Columbia Gorge will see controlled burns across the river, in Washington, soon.
With the onset of wet winter weather, fire managers at the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area are doing controlled pile burns at certain locations on the Washington side of the central and eastern Gorge.
Locations include a plot in Husum, as well as National Forest System lands near Collins slide, Catherine Creek, the upper East Fork of Major Creek, and the area below Coyote Wall.
The piles are comprised of woody and vegetative material from thinning and vegetation management activities, which remove flammable natural fuels from the landscape to prevent them from carrying and intensifying wildfire. Each burn is the culmination of years of planning and preparation.
The actual day of ignition for the pile burning projects will depend on factors such as humidity, wind speed and direction, temperature and moisture levels of understory vegetation. Burns only occur on days when the Washington State Smoke Management Office indicates suitable weather conditions for smoke dispersal are present.
The Forest Service conducts pile burning when significant moisture is present to allow effective dispersion of smoke, but smoke may be visible in surrounding communities. Note that piles may smolder, burn, and produce smoke for several days after ignition.
Where necessary, motorists should reduce speeds and turn on headlights. If unsure whether smoke or a fire is from a planned pile burn, citizens can contact their local fire department or the National Scenic Area at 541-308-1700.
For more up to date information about pile burning, follow social media updates at facebook.com/crgnsa or www.twitter.com/crgnsa.
Learn more about Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area at www.fs.usda.gov/crgnsa.