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SMOKY SKIES BLANKET CURRY COUNTY

Ash fell in town earlier this week as a result of South Coast Lumber Companys slash and burn on North Bank Road.

The slash and burn started late last week and was most notable on Oct. 23. The purpose of it is to get the land ready for replanting.

Slash burns are generally done twice a year in the fall and the spring. The burns in the spring help to reduce the summer forest fire risk, said Mike Robison, staff forester for the Coos Forest Protective Agency.

Alumagel, a mixture of gas and powder, is pumped out into the area to be burned. The gel is distributed via helicopter for large areas and a drip torch for small areas.

Robison said that most slash burns cover between 35 and 75 acres.

Companies doing slash burns in Oregon must adhere to the Oregon Smoke Management Plan, which gives guidance on various issues including air quality and the direction of the wind.

The association is responsible for making sure companies adhere to the regulations.

Robison said the regulations assist in minimizing the impact of the burn on the community.

He said that the smoke created by the burns doesnt harm people (unless they have problems such as asthma) because the burn is a short-term event. People who are concerned about the effects should stay indoors, he said.

For information about slash burns or to find out when a burn is planned, contact the Coos Forest Protective Association at (541) 247-6241.

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