Controlled burns planned in Columbia River Gorge



Prescribed burns in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area could produce smoke visible to drivers on state Highway 14 and Interstate 84 during the next month, according to scenic area fire managers.

Burns are planned in the Catherine Creek area on the Washington side of the river, and around Rowena on the Oregon side. Officials are taking advantage of recent rainfall and cooler weather to begin fall prescribed burns in the Gorge, weather permitting.

The burns are part of an effort to improve forest health and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires. Ignition dates will depend on several factors, including humidity, wind speed and direction, temperature and fuel vegetation moisture, according to scenic area officials. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources and the Oregon Department of Forestry will help determine when conditions are appropriate for burning.