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Pile burning planned near Lake Billy Chinook

MADRAS, Ore. - Fuels specialists with the Prineville BLM are anticipating being able to burn 15 acres of piles at the BLM Beach next week, based on the current weather forecast.

The BLM Beach is a campground located on the south shore of the Metolius arm of Lake Billy Chinook, ½ mile east of the Three Rivers Recreation Area.

Burning is expected to take one day, with mop up and patrol continuing for several days.

This material is leftover from a thinning project designed to reduce the risk of wildfire moving from BLM-administered lands onto private lands in the Three Rivers Recreation Area.

This project was designed to meet objectives outlined in the Jefferson County Community Wildfire Protection Plan, which identifies a variety of actions that private and public land owners can take to reduce wildfire risk. The Three Rivers home area lost 18 homes in the catastrophic 2002 Eyerly Fire.

Smoke will be visible to local residents and boaters on Lake Billy Chinook. The campground is boat-in only, so no road closures are expected. Patrols and mop-up activities will occur during and following ignition, and will continue until the burn is declared out.

All controlled burns are completed in cooperation with the Oregon Department of Forestry smoke management plan.  For more information, visit the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center website at

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