Escaped debris burns cause brush fires


Last updated 6/6/2023 at 2:13pm

Photo courtesy Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District

A quick and heavy response enabled firefighters to get a handle on an escaped burn pile northeast of Sisters.

Two escaped debris burns on successive days last week serve a reminder that burn piles pose a risk in Sisters Country.

Fire crews quickly extinguished an escaped burn pile, which had spread to nearby vegetation, on Tuesday evening, May 23, containing the fire at an estimated 1/8 acre.

According to Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District, a neighboring property owner called 911 at 6:35 p.m. to report grass on fire. The property owner on scene of the incident reported they had previously been burning yard debris but had extinguished the fire earlier in the day.

Shift Commander Jeremy Ast said, "Clearance around the property owner's burn pile was an issue, and the fire rekindled with increasing afternoon temperatures and wind from the pile, which had been left smoldering."

Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District reminds residents to clear the area of combustible material around a burn pile for at least 10 feet in all directions, and make sure the fire is completely extinguished.

Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District responded 17 firefighters and four emergency vehicles. Units from Black Butte Ranch Fire District and Oregon Department of Forestry brought two additional personnel.

In the second incident, on Wednesday, May 24, fire crews put out a small brush fire that reignited from an old burned pile of debris. Again, the fire is estimated at 1/8 acre.

Neighbors driving by alerted the property owner, and called 911 at 2:36 p.m. to report the grass, brush, and three rolls of plastic turf on fire. The property owner on the scene of the incident reported they had previously been burning yard debris days prior, and believed the burn pile had been extinguished.

Division Chief Jeff Puller said, "This is the second fire in two days that was not completely extinguished and then reignited leading to the brush fire."

Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District responded with six firefighters and three emergency vehicles.

Residents are reminded to adhere to the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District burn regulations, register your property and schedule your burn days at Starting June 1, debris burning will be closed for fire season. Outdoor debris burning within the city limits of Sisters is closed year-round.

Backyard fires, which include warming fires, campfires, cooking fires, and ceremonial fires are typically allowed year-round in the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District, when used within the guidelines set forth in the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District Burning Regulations. Additional restrictions on campfires may be implemented during the hottest parts of summer to help reduce the risk of fire. Check the current restrictions by logging into your Burn Permits account, or by calling the Fire District's burn information line at 541-549-2333.

If you live within the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District and do not have your property registered in the Burn Permits system, visit

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