Deschutes National Forest Spring Prescribed Burning Season Starts Thursday

If conditions are favorable, Sisters Ranger District firefighters may ignite up to 450 acres over four days

Central Oregon – Deschutes National Forest firefighters plan to start spring prescribed burning season. If conditions are favorable, Sisters Ranger District firefighters will ignite up to 450 acres starting Thursday and continuing through Monday.

The prescribed burn units are located approximately three miles southeast of Sisters on National Forest System lands to the west of the Sisters Rodeo grounds. Smoke will be visible from Highway 20. Firefighters will assess weather forecasts each day to determine which units may have favorable conditions for burning. Firefighters use weather and wind conditions to help minimize smoke impacts to roadways and communities. Sisters Ranger District firefighters are conducting these burns with support from Central Oregon TREX Prescribed Fire Training participants.

During the 2023 spring prescribed burning season, the Deschutes National Forest hopes to accomplish up to 13,000 acres of prescribed burning, including 2,000 acres on the Sisters Ranger District, 1,100 acres on the Crescent Ranger District, and 10,000 acres on the Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District.

Fire managers implement understory prescribed burning to reduce wildfire risk to communities by improving defensible space. Prescribed burning reintroduces and maintains fire within a fire-dependent ecosystem helping to stabilize and improve the resiliency of forest conditions while increasing public and firefighter safety. Once firefighters ignite prescribed burns, they monitor and patrol the units until they declare the burn out.

Prescribed burns can protect homes from tragic wildfires. Fire management officials work with Oregon Department of Forestry smoke specialists to plan prescribed burns. Prescribed burns are conducted when weather is most likely to move smoke up and away from our communities. Sometimes, weather patterns change, and some smoke will be present during prescribed burns.

What does this mean for you?

During prescribed burns, smoke may settle in low-lying areas overnight.

  • All residents are encouraged to close windows at night to avoid smoke impacts
  • When driving in smoky areas, drivers should slow down and turn on headlights
  • If you have heart or lung disease, asthma, or other chronic conditions, ask your doctor about how to protect yourself from smoke
  • Go to centraloregonfire.org to learn more about smoke safety and prescribed burning in Central Oregon

For more information on prescribed burning in Central Oregon, visit centraloregonfire.org/ and for information specific to the Deschutes National Forest visit www.fs.usda.gov/deschutes. Follow us on Twitter @CentralORFire. Text “COFIRE to 888-777 to receive wildfire and prescribed fire text alerts.


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