HOOD RIVER, Ore. — Oct. 3, 2022 — To reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires and improve forest health, the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area plans to conduct prescribed burning in the eastern Gorge sometime in October or November when weather, fuel conditions, and air quality become favorable. Smoke will be visible from various places in the eastern side of the Scenic Area depending on the location of the burn units and weather conditions.
This prescribed burning will take place in Washington between Bingen and Lyle on National Forest System lands. Burn areas will include the ridge located between Catherine and Major Creeks (also known as Tracy Hill), and/or the south side of Catherine Creek.
Each project follows a prescribed fire burn plan. The prescribed fire projects are located and designed to be controlled to reduce the potential for adverse effects, and for escape as a wildland fire. These projects will follow local air quality standards and are coordinated with the Washington Department of Natural Resources to reduce the impacts of smoke to our neighbors, cooperators, and surrounding communities.
“Exact dates will depend on weather and moisture conditions that best allow the appropriate level of burn intensity and smoke management, while ensuring we have a well-controlled burn,” said Roland Rose, Fire Fuels Planner with the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. “The large-scale wildfires throughout our region over the past few years validate the need for fuel treatment projects such as these.”
Smoke may be visible on Washington State Route 14 and/or I-84 at times during the burns. When smoke is present, motorists are cautioned to reduce speeds and turn on headlights.
To minimize impacts from smoke, management officials from Oregon and Washington determine burn dates based on weather conditions. As dates are confirmed, details will be posted on Facebook.com/crgnsa or Twitter.com/crgnsa.