Fire management officials on the Emigrant Creek Ranger District, Malheur National Forest are planning to conduct prescribed burning operations in the Whistle and George planning units, starting as early as Friday, November 16, 2018, according to a press release. The George unit is located in the area of Buck Springs Campground, Whistle unit is located near Delintment Lake Campground. Crews are taking advantage of current conditions to accomplish additional fall prescribed fire operations as part of the Forest’s ongoing restoration efforts.

For the safety of firefighters and the public, forest visitors are encouraged to plan ahead and avoid these area during prescribed burning activities.

Burning operations may have some short-term impacts on air quality levels. Fire personnel will work closely in accordance with State Smoke Management Plans to insure that smoke impacts on the local communities are minimized. As compared to wildfires, prescribed fires are shorter in duration and are conducted under weather conditions to minimize the impacts of smoke on the public.

Smoke may reduce visibility on local roadways near burning operations. Signs are placed notifying drivers they are entering an area of prescribed fire activity. Please exercise care when driving in smoky, lower-visibility conditions.

Smoke may also worsen symptoms for people who have pre-existing health conditions and those who are particularly sensitive to smoke. Those that fall into either category should limit their exposure to the smoke:

• Limit outdoor activities, especially in the morning hours, when smoke has a tendency to settle.

• Stay indoors whenever possible with the doors and windows closed.

• When driving in a vehicle, keep windows closed with air conditioning or heater set to recirculate.

The public can check the local air quality index (AQI) on the Oregon DEQ’s website: https://oraqi.deq.state.or.us/home/map

For further information on the Malheur National Forest, please visit us at www.fs.usda.gov/malheur or call the Supervisor’s Office at 541-575-3000.

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