Stormy forecast prompts cancellation of 405-acre prescribed burn Saturday along Hwy. 20 north of Sisters
SISTERS, Ore. (KTVZ) – The prescribed burn planned for Saturday on the Sisters Ranger District directly north of Sisters along Highway 20 has been canceled due to predicted stormy weather conditions, the Deschutes National Forest said Friday.
Firefighters work in coordination with weather forecasters to ensure conditions are conducive for prescribed burning operations. Officials said it was determined Friday that weather conditions don't meet the criteria for conducting this operation on Saturday.
This prescribed burn unit is located in a strategic location adjacent to residences, private property, and critical infrastructure, including Highway 20 and recreation opportunities.
The Forest Service says Implementing this prescribed burn is crucial to meeting the Deschutes National Forest’s obligations within the Greater Sisters Country Wildfire Protection Plan and upholding the Forest Service’s commitment to addressing the Wildfire Crisis Strategy.
This prescribed burn unit has been on the docket for several years as firefighters have tried to find the proper conditions window to move smoke away from Highway 20 and communities. Firefighters will continue to look for opportunities to conduct this critical prescribed burn this spring.
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.
The Forest Service is closely coordinating with Oregon Department of Transportation on this prescribed burn as it relates to the management of Highway 20.
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 centraloregonfire.org to learn more about smoke safety and prescribed burning in Central Oregon
For more information on prescribed burning in Central Oregon, visit centraloregonfire.org/ and for information specific to the Deschutes National Forest visit www.fs.usda.gov/deschutes. Follow us on Twitter @CentralORFire. Text “COFIRE to 888-777 to receive wildfire and prescribed fire text alerts.