News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Mark calendars for debris disposal

Fire season is quickly approaching, and now is the time for Central Oregonians to plan to reduce their risk by creating defensible space and taking advantage of upcoming spring FireFree events.

Now is the time to clean up yards around homes and drop off that debris at FireFree collection sites for free. Knott Landfill will take yard debris in a FireFree event May 6 through May 21. Knott Landfill is open seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Northwest (Fryrear) Transfer Station near Sisters will participate Saturday, June 3 through Saturday, June 17. The transfer station is open Wednesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

FireFree drop-offs include:

• Grass clippings, brush, pine needles, pinecones, weeds, trimmings and branches, stumps or trees (no larger than 12 inches in diameter).

• NOT accepted: rocks, sod, dirt, lumber, metal, trash or plastics of any kind, including plastic bags.

Vulnerable spots around the home:

• Gutters and roof valleys filled with debris like pine needles and leaves. Clean them out. Despite a metal or asphalt shingle roof, the buildup of gutter debris provides necessary fuel for the glowing embers to ignite adjacent fascia boards or siding — most often made of wood.

• Shrubs and weeds that provide a path of fuel for fire to reach your trees or home. Reduce shrubs and other “ladder fuels” around your home to reduce the threat of ground fires igniting nearby trees or your home.

• Flammable materials near a deck, patio, or fence. Remove weeds, shrubs, or any combustible materials from around, under, or on top of your deck, patio, or wood fence. This includes flammable toys, planters, construction materials, patio furniture, and cushions along with even small piles of pine needles or leaves.

• Bark mulch, pine needles, ornamental junipers, or flammable vegetation within 5 feet of your home. This can provide the perfect ember bed that provides necessary fuel for the glowing embers to ignite the adjacent siding – most often made of wood.

• Woodpiles near your home or other combustible vegetation. Move woodpiles at least 30 feet away from your home or other combustibles.

Visit the FireFree website at for more information about how you can prepare your property for wildfire season.


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