As planned, firefighters started a multi-phase burnout operation this afternoon, setting backfires where the Peavine Fire was approaching U.S. Highway 97. The burnout is being carried out slowly and carefully to minimize damage to large trees. A Washington Department of Transportation pilot car began escorting cars through the area at noon in anticipation of the burnout. Heat and smoke from the burnout has limited visibility in the area. The public is asked to avoid using this highway as the burnout operation continues.