Valley fires impacting Sisters


Last updated 8/29/2023 at 10:26am

Additional fire restrictions are currently in effect on the Willamette National Forest. Those restrictions include popular areas for Sisters’ OHV (off-highway vehicle) riders.

The new restrictions prohibit all motorized use on motorized trails, including in the Santiam Pass and Huckleberry Flats OHV areas. Off-highway vehicles are only allowed on multi-use roads, which allow both OHVs and regular motor vehicles; Motor Vehicle Use Maps show which roads are open to multi-use, and are available at Willamette National Forest offices and online:

Smoke from Willamette Valley fires, combined with smoke drifting from Canada and Washington, have impacted the Sisters area — sometimes severely — for the past several weeks. Sisters Country got a respite over the weekend, with air quality improving into the moderate zone. Forecasts call for somewhat smokier conditions this week, with Thursday and Friday trending into “unhealthy for sensitive persons,” and Saturday of Labor Day Weekend forecast to be “unhealthy.”

The Deschutes National Forest has restricted campfires; they are only allowed in designated, developed campgrounds on all federally managed land in Central Oregon, including the Deschutes National Forest, Prineville BLM, Ochoco National Forest, or the Crooked River National Grassland.

Additionally, under the public use restrictions, smoking is prohibited, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material. Traveling off developed roads and trails also is not allowed, except for the purpose of going to and from a campsite located within 300 feet of the open developed road.

Cooking stoves, portable propane campfires, and lanterns are allowed when operated in a responsible manner and fueled by bottled propane or liquid fuel. The exception to this is BLM-designated campgrounds along portions of the Crooked, Deschutes, John Day, and White rivers, as well as on BLM-administered lands along Lake Billy Chinook and Lake Simtustus. These public-use restrictions do not replace the annual river corridor restrictions which were implemented June 1, 2023. Portable propane campfire devices are still prohibited in these areas.

Information on current restrictions or the current Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) can be obtained by contacting your Central Oregon Fire Use Information Line at 1-800-523-4737.


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