Prescribed burns planned in Columbia River Gorge



Forest managers began prescribed burning in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area this week, taking advantage of cooler weather in the region.

The activity included pile burning in the Catherine Creek/Burdoin Mountain area starting Tuesday, according to Gorge officials, with additional burning possible after this weekend.

Prescribed burns are used to improve forest health and reduce the threat of wildfires, according to scenic area officials. They are started only under proper conditions, depending on temperature, moisture, wind and other factors.

Weather-permitting, burns will occur in the Collins Slide and Catherine Creek areas during the next few months, officials said.

That means smoke may be visible to motorists on state Highway 14 in the Gorge, or Interstate 84 on the Oregon side of the Columbia River. Drivers should reduce speeds or use headlights as needed, officials said.