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Mt. Hood National Forest advises residents, motorists of possible smoke in coming weeks

COURTESY PHOTO: UNSPLASH/CHALAPHAN MATHONG - Crews anticipated to begin fall pile burning as soon as this week. As the weather turns toward fall, bringing rain and cooler temperatures, the Mt. Hood National Forest anticipates crews will begin burning slash piles as soon as this week.

People living in or visiting the area are warned that smoke may be visible in the vicinity during these ignition operations. Fall pile burning may continue for several weeks.

"Piles are from hazardous fuels reduction projects, timber sales, and timber stand improvement projects," Mt. Hood National Forest staff explained in a statement. "Slash piles are created when timber stands are thinned, as well as when surface fuels are reduced from the forest floor. The slash is placed in piles and left to cure before burning. Crews ignite piles in the morning and early afternoon to allow fuels to burn down prior to evening. Burn units are monitored by firefighters until they are declared out."

Mt. Hood National Forest staff have anticipated several places piles may be burned this season around the forest. Those include, but are not limited to:

Hood River Ranger District:

• Forest Road (FR) 13/ 1310/ 1320

• FR 16/ 1610/ 1630/ 1640

• FR 17/ 1711

• FR 18/ 1811

Barlow Ranger District:

• FR 1720/ 1721/ 1722

• FR 2710/ 2730

• FR 44/ 4430/ 4431

• FR 48/ 4811

Clackamas River Ranger District:

• FR 4220

• FR 46/ 4640/ 4660/ 4661

• FR 58/ 5810

• FR 63/ 6330/ 6340

• FR 70/ 7010

"No closures are anticipated, however if smoke drifts on to roads, motorists should slow down, turn on headlights, and proceed with care," Forest Service staff advised. "Fire and fuels personnel follow policies outlined in the Oregon Department of Forestry smoke management plan. These guidelines help minimize smoke impacts to visibility and public health."

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