Don't get me wrong - I love, love, love my table saw - it's a Riyobi BT3000 that includes a router table so I can use the rip fence as a router fence whenever I need to work some routing magic. Here's a stylized picture of my wondermachine:
I discovered last night that the back end of the fence was not holding fast once I locked it into place. The wiggle room is only a couple of millimeters, but it's enough to throw off a cut and cause the burning. Upon closer inspection, I discovered the part that clamps the fence to the rail on the far side is broken and it's been in that state since I purchased the saw a couple of years ago. Here's the part:
The culprit is the part marked '7' on the diagram. I found a replacement for it on eReplacementParts.com. It's called a "Roller Holder" and costs $3.16.