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Sisters Ranger District Plans Prescribed Burn Near Highway 20 Wednesday

Sisters, Oregon – The Sisters Ranger District plans to conduct a prescribed burn four miles northwest of Sisters adjacent to Highway 20 and three quarters of a mile north of the Cascade Meadow Ranch Subdivision on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, firefighters plan to conduct 115 acres of prescribed burning west of Zimmerman Pit. The prescribed burn will not be right along Highway 20, but some smoke and flames may be visible from the highway. Residents in the Cascade Meadow Ranch Subdivision and the Indian Ford area are encouraged to keep doors and windows closed to minimize smoke impacts. The Forest Service is closely coordinating with Oregon Department of Transportation on this prescribed burn as it relates to the management of Highway 20.

Due to active prescribed burn operations in the area, the Forest Service asks that the public avoid Forest Service Road 2059-500 and Zimmerman Butte on Wednesday and Thursday. We know this is a popular recreational shooting area and we appreciate the support of the public to avoid it during this critical work. Please contact the Sisters Ranger District at (541)549-7700 for alternative suitable shooting areas. Additionally, the Sisters Tie Trail near Indian Ford Campground will also be closed on Wednesday and Thursday for public safety during and directly after burn operations.

This prescribed burn unit is located in a strategic location adjacent to residences, private property, and critical infrastructure, including Highway 20 and recreation opportunities. Implementing this prescribed burn is crucial to meeting the Deschutes National Forest’s obligations within the Greater Sisters Country Wildfire Protection Plan and upholding the Forest Service’s commitment to addressing the Wildfire Crisis Strategy.

If conditions and resource availability shift in a way that the prescribed burn adjacent to Highway 20 is not feasible, Sisters Ranger District firefighters will plan to conduct a 104-acre prescribed burn two and a half miles west of Sisters adjacent to the Tollgate Subdivision, north of Highway 242 and west of Forest Service Road 1008. No road or trail closures are anticipated. Tollgate Subdivision residents are encouraged to keep windows and doors closed to minimize smoke impacts.

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.

These prescribed burns are occurring within the Central Oregon Landscape, one of 21 focal landscapes identified within the Forest Service’s Wildfire Crisis Strategy. The implementation of these prescribed burns supports the Deschutes National Forest’s commitment to addressing the Wildfire Crisis Strategy which aims to reduce severity of wildfires, protect communities and improve the health and resiliency of fire-dependent forests.

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.

-USFS-

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