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More prescribed burns planned Friday on Sisters Ranger District, near Hole-in-the-Ground

Prescribed burn SAFR72 SE of Sisters US Forest Service
Deschutes National Forest
90-acre SAFR72 prescribed burn was ignited Thursday 3 miles SE of Sisters

(Update: New details of Friday burn plans; 90 acres burned Thursday)

Deschutes National Forest plans 13,000 acres of burning this spring

SISTERS, Ore. (KTVZ) – Firefighters on the Bend-Fort Rock and Sisters Ranger Districts plan to conduct prescribed burn operations on Friday.

Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District firefighters plan to conduct a 417-acre prescribed burn operation near Hole-in-the-Ground. If conditions are favorable, ignitions are slated for 11 a.m. on Friday.

The prescribed burn is located about 1 1/2 miles from Hole-in-the-Ground, east of Highway 31 between mileposts 24 and 27. Smoke will be visible from Highway 31 and the Fort Rock Valley. No road or trail closures are anticipated. Smoke impacts to Highway 31 are possible. Drivers should use caution, slow down and turn on headlights if smoke drifts across the roadway.

The Sisters Ranger District may conduct prescribed burn operations at one of two locations on Friday, depending on conditions.

The first potential unit is 85 acres located west of the Tollgate Subdivision and north of Forest Service Road 1008. The other potential unit is 100 acres located along Forest Service Road 15, about two miles west of Sisters.

Firefighters will determine which of the two units may be possible for ignitions based on wind and weather conditions Friday. These operations will replace the planned ignitions located 3 miles southeast of Sisters.

On Thursday, firefighters completed the 90-acre SAFR72 prescribed burn, about three miles southeast of Sisters on the Sisters Ranger District. Smoke was visible from Highway 20. Crews were to remain on scene into the evening, cooling down the edges of the fire line and securing the perimeter.

Firefighters will assess weather forecasts each day to determine which units may have favorable conditions for burning. Firefighters use weather and wind conditions to help minimize smoke impacts to roadways and communities.

Sisters Ranger District firefighters are conducting these burns with support from Central Oregon TREX Prescribed Fire Training participants.

During the 2023 spring prescribed burning season, the Deschutes National Forest hopes to accomplish up to 13,000 acres of prescribed burning, including 2,000 acres on the Sisters Ranger District, 1,100 acres on the Crescent Ranger District, and 10,000 acres on the Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District.

Fire managers implement understory prescribed burning to reduce wildfire risk to communities by improving defensible space. They say prescribed burning reintroduces and maintains fire within a fire-dependent ecosystem helping to stabilize and improve the resiliency of forest conditions while increasing public and firefighter safety.

Once firefighters ignite prescribed burns, they monitor and patrol the units until they declare the burn out.

Prescribed burns 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 burning in Central Oregon

For more information on prescribed burning in Central Oregon, visit and for information specific to the Deschutes National Forest visit Follow on Twitter @CentralORFire. Text “COFIRE to 888-777 to receive wildfire and prescribed fire text alerts.

Article Topic Follows: Fire Alert

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