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Pile burning is underway on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. If you see or smell smoke this week, it could be from burns up the Chiwawa, Entiat or Methow Valleys. Most smoke will disperse eastward, the forest service said.

Crews are burning 100 acres on Natapoc Ridge about three miles north of Plain, 30 acres in the Mosquito Ridge area between French Corral and Ardenvoir up the Entiat, and 27 acres in the Lost River area near Yellowjacket Sno-Park four miles northwest of Mazama.

Pile burning is a prescribed fire used to ignite hand or machine created piles of cut vegetation from fuel management activities, which means less fuel for natural fires during the summer, said Forest Service Spokesperson Robin DeMario.

She said piles are generally burned during the wet season to reduce damage to the residual trees and to confine the fire to a small footprint. Other burns are planned until the snow flies, but are weather dependant.

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