News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Firewood cutting opens in Sisters

Beginning May 1 and continuing through May 31, the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests and the Crooked River National Grassland will offer free personal-use firewood cutting, without the normal requirement to obtain a permit from a Forest Service office or vendor.

This interim change to the firewood permitting process is a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and an effort to maximize social distancing measures to the extent possible. After May 31, the Forest Service plans to return to the regular process of issuing firewood permits and load tags at offices and vendor locations, but this timeline may be extended depending on how the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.

Firewood cutters can take up to four cords of firewood for personal use only. Inquire by phone or email with your local district office regarding commercial firewood permits.

Firewood cutters taking advantage of this opportunity will be required to follow the same rules and regulations that are in effect during the regular firewood cutting season. These rules and regulations are found in the “2020 Central Oregon Personal Use Firewood Synopsis” and on individual firewood cutting area maps.

Free personal-use firewood cutters will be required to have the following in their possession while cutting, loading, and transporting firewood:

1. A completed and signed hard-copy version of the Free Personal-Use Firewood Authorization.

2. A digital or hard-copy version of the 2020 Central Oregon Personal Use Firewood Synopsis.

3. A digital or hard-copy version of the appropriate firewood cutting area map.

The Authorization, Synopsis, and maps can be acquired for Deschutes National Forest at, at Forest Service offices, and local participating vendors starting May 1. Firewood cutting area maps can be downloaded onto your electronic devices with the Avenza maps app available from

Woodcutters should use caution while driving on Forest Service roads. Many may remain snow covered and icy at higher elevations. Roads at lower elevations are wet and muddy and the soft roadbed can easily be damaged by vehicle traffic.


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