News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Hot, dry weather heralds fire danger

Summer weather has arrived in earnest in Sisters Country, with temperatures climbing into the 90s and vegetation from lawns to forest groundcover drying out apace.

And that means fire danger.

Sisters has experienced two decades of major wildfires, and with the local economy in a fragile state due to the coronavirus outbreak, locals fear the impact of another blaze.

Firefighters quickly lined a wildfire that broke out Saturday afternoon just east of La Pine on Saturday, and by press time it was 30 percent or more contained. The fire prompted a Level 1 pre-evacuation notice for the Newberry Estates neighborhood, but that evacuation notice was lifted Sunday.

The incident served as a reminder that fire season is underway in earnest. Sisters Country residents are urged to be prepared. It’s never too late to create and maintain defensible space around your property and to make sure that it is readily accessible to fire equipment. That gives firefighters a fighting chance to save your home in the event of a blaze that threatens residences.

The website offers extensive tips for evacuation:

Emergency Supply Kit Checklist

• Three-day supply of non-perishable food and three gallons of water per person.

• Map marked with at least two evacuation routes.

• Prescriptions or special medications.

• Change of clothing.

• Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses.

• An extra set of car keys, credit cards, cash or traveler’s checks.

• First aid kit.

• Flashlight.

• Battery-powered radio and extra batteries.

• Sanitation supplies.

• Copies of important documents (birth certificates, passports, etc.)

• Don’t forget pet food and water! (The website also offers extensive tips on preparing for pet evacuation.)

Items to take if time allows:

• Easily carried valuables.

• Family photos and other irreplaceable items.

• Personal computer information on hard drives and disks.

• Chargers for cell phones, laptops, etc.

Always keep a sturdy pair of shoes and a flashlight near your bed and handy in case of a sudden evacuation at night.

Sometimes residents feel compelled to stay to try to defend their home. Firefighters and other emergency personnel strongly advise against this impulse. Not only does it put the homeowner in danger, it endangers firefighters and law enforcement personnel at grave risk, because they are duty-bound to try to help you if you’re in danger.


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