USFS to reduce hazardous fuels


Last updated 11/22/2022 at Noon

Sisters Ranger District fire specialists are conducting brush removal work with Forest Service staff and contractors to mow approximately 3,300 acres of brush across several sites within three project areas.

Forest Service operators have started some of this work, while contractors were to start as soon as Monday. The three areas slated for brush removal include the Metolius Basin Vegetation Management Project, Sisters Area Fuels Reduction (SAFR), and Highway 20 project area. Mowing reduces hazardous fuels loading and helps prepare areas for prescribed fire treatments. Both mowing and prescribed burning can reduce the potential of high-intensity wildfires. Mowing work is scheduled in the fall and winter months to take advantage of cooler weather and increased moisture, as well as to minimize impacts to ground-nesting birds and other wildlife.

Fire specialists expect to treat approximately 1,317 acres in the Metolius Basin, to protect communities in the Camp Sherman area while retaining scenic values. Mowing will occur along Forest Service Road 14 near the Lower Black Butte Trailhead (Trail #4026), Forest Service Road 12, and Forest Service Road 1120. No trail or road closures are anticipated; however, the Forest Service asks the public to be aware of this work and avoid areas when mowing is occurring.

Along Highway 20, brush removal will occur near the junction with Forest Service Road 1012 (Cold Springs Cutoff Road), near Indian Ford Campground along Forest Service Road 11, and northwest of the Tollgate subdivision. In the SAFR project area, brush removal will occur near Graham Corral Horse Camp and along Highway 242 west of the Tollgate subdivision. Residents may experience short-duration impacts to roads and trails in areas west of Tollgate.

This fuels reduction work is funded, in part, through the Joint Chief’s Landscape Restoration Partnership, a national initiative between the USDA Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service to invest in projects aimed at mitigating wildfire risk, improving water quality, and restoring healthy forest ecosystems on public and private lands.

For more information on hazardous fuels reduction projects in Central Oregon, visit the interactive website at or visit and follow us on Twitter @CentralORFire.


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