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Deschutes National Forest continues prescribed burning projects; some trail detours planned

Prescribed burn
C.O. Fire Management Service/file
Prescribed burn

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — Deschutes National Forest firefighters plan to take advantage of favorable conditions to continue prescribed burning Tuesday across the Bend-Fort Rock, Crescent and Sisters ranger districts.

On Tuesday, if favorable conditions persist, firefighters on the Sisters Ranger District plan to conduct 240 acres of prescribed burning about 5 miles south of Sisters along Forest Service Road 1505.

A short-term trail detour for the Metolius-Windigo Trail will be implemented about three trail miles from Sisters Cow Camp. A shot-term trail detour will also be in effect on the Peterson Burn Horse Trail about one and a half miles west of Whychus Creek Crossing. Trail closures are implemented for public and firefighter safety.

Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District firefighters completed 221 acres of prescribed fire adjacent to Sunriver Monday. Firefighters plan to complete an additional about 500 acres Tuesday, if favorable conditions persist.

Tuesday's planned operations will take place on both the north and south sides of Cottonwood Road and will border the western edge of Highway 97. While no trail or road closures are anticipated, flaggers will be onsite should smoke impact roadways.

Firefighters on the Crescent Ranger District plan to conduct a 98-acre prescribed burn within the Gilchrist State Forest about six miles southeast of Crescent and east of Highway 97. The prescribed burn is being conducted on Walker Range Fire Patrol-protected lands through the North Walker Cross Boundary Prescribed Fire Agreement. No road or trail closures are anticipated.

Fire managers are implementing these understory burns to reduce hazardous fuels accumulation decreasing the risk of high-intensity wildfire in the area. Prescribed burning reintroduces and maintains fire within the fire-adapted ecosystem helping to stabilize and improve the resiliency of forest conditions while increasing public and firefighter safety. Once ignited, units are monitored and patrolled until they are declared out.

Prescribed fires can protect homes from tragic wildfires. Fire management officials work with Oregon Department of Forestry smoke specialists to plan prescribed burns. Prescribed burns are conducted when weather is most likely to move smoke up and away from our communities. Sometimes, weather patterns change, and some smoke will be present during prescribed burns.

What does this mean for you?

During prescribed burns, smoke may settle in low-lying areas overnight.

  • All residents are encouraged to close windows at night to avoid smoke impacts
  • When driving in smoky areas, drivers should slow down and turn on headlights
  • If you have heart or lung disease, asthma, or other chronic conditions, ask your doctor about how to protect yourself from smoke
  • Go to to learn more about smoke safety and prescribed fire in Central Oregon

For more information on hazardous fuels reduction projects in Central Oregon, visit the interactive website at or visit and follow us on Twitter @CentralORFire. Text “COFIRE to 888-777 to receive prescribed fire and wildfire text alerts.

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