News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Burning season is upon

Sisters Ranger District fire management specialists plan to treat up to 1,100 acres with prescribed fire during 2022. Prescribed fire units are dispersed throughout three project areas, including adjacent to Highway 20, within the Sisters Area Fuels Reduction (SAFR) area, and in the Metolius Basin.

Given favorable conditions, Sisters Ranger District firefighters expected to begin spring prescribed fire operations this week. All prescribed burn units are scheduled to take advantage of spring weather and residual moisture that allows firefighters to maintain low-intensity fire while removing ladder fuels and hazardous fuels loading.

The planned units are part of a continuation of treatments using prescribed burns to restore fire in a historically fire-adapted ecosystem, while reducing hazardous fuels that contribute to high-intensity fire events, which occur during the normal fire season. The attached map shows project units that are near or adjacent to Sisters area communities.

No road closures are anticipated but drivers can expect traffic control measures on major roadways during burn operations for safety. Immediately following burn operations, short-duration smoke impacts may affect the town of Sisters, including outlying areas and communities in the Metolius Basin.

Residents and businesses in these areas are advised to keep their windows and doors closed during the night hours to avoid potential impacts. If smoke drifts onto local roads, motorists are asked to slow down, turn on headlights, and proceed with caution.

Fuels specialists utilize smoke forecasts from the Oregon Department of Forestry Smoke Management office and follow policies outlined by the Oregon Department of Forestry, which governs air quality, and attempts to minimize impacts to visibility and public health. Once ignited, units are monitored and patrolled until they are declared out.

For information on fuels reduction projects in Central Oregon visit or For further questions call 541-549-7700 (Sisters Ranger District).


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