News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Local fire chiefs institute burn ban

Deschutes County Fire Chiefs are temporarily closing outdoor burning as a result of the COVID-19 virus. Outdoor burning will close at sunset on Friday, April 10.

Outdoor burning restrictions may be lifted if impacts of the COVID-19 virus subside before fire season begins.

Local fire officials say the decision to temporarily close outdoor burning was not easy. The health benefits for vulnerable populations were considered along with the need to encourage people to reduce combustible vegetation around their homes.

Fire Chiefs consulted with officials at the Deschutes County Emergency Operations Center as well as regional wildfire protection agencies, including the Oregon Department of Forestry, before making the final decision.

Deschutes County Fire Defense Board Chief Mike Supkis said, “We are preparing for a potential increase in emergency response activity in the coming weeks. We want to ensure we have enough firefighter paramedics available to care for residents who become sick.”

Most Deschutes County fire departments also provide ambulance transport services. If firefighter paramedics are responding to burning complaints or escaped controlled burns, responses to medical emergencies could be slowed.

Chief Supkis encourages Deschutes County residents to contact their local fire department if they have any questions about the closure.

 

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