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115-acre prescribed burn planned NW of Sisters, near Highway 20, Cascade Meadow Ranch subdivision

Prescribed burn
KTVZ file
Prescribed burn

(Update: Other burns to continue Wednesday near Sunriver, Crescent)

Public urged to avoid popular shooting area; Sisters Tie trail to be closed; backup burn option in plans

SISTERS, Ore. (KTVZ) – The Sisters Ranger District plans to conduct a 115-acre prescribed burn on Wednesday four miles northwest of Sisters, near Highway 20 and three-quarters of a mile north of the Cascade Meadow Ranch Subdivision.

Residents in the Cascade Meadow Ranch Subdivision and the Indian Ford area are encouraged to keep doors and windows closed to minimize smoke impacts. The Forest Service is closely coordinating with Oregon Department of Transportation on this prescribed burn as it relates to the management of Highway 20.

Due to active prescribed burn operations in the area, the Forest Service asks that the public avoid Forest Service Road 2059-500 and Zimmerman Butte on Wednesday and Thursday.

"We know this is a popular recreational shooting area, and we appreciate the support of the public to avoid it during this critical work," the Forest Service said in Tuesday's announcement. "Please contact the Sisters Ranger District at (541)549-7700 for alternative suitable shooting areas."

Additionally, the Sisters Tie Trail near Indian Ford Campground will also be closed on Wednesday and Thursday for public safety during and directly after burn operations.

This prescribed burn unit is located in a strategic location adjacent to residences, private property, and critical infrastructure, including Highway 20 and recreation opportunities. 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.

If conditions and resource availability shift in a way that the prescribed burn near Highway 20 is not feasible, Sisters Ranger District firefighters will plan to conduct a 104-acre prescribed burn 2 1/2 miles west of Sisters, adjacent to the Tollgate Subdivision, north of Highway 242 and west of Forest Service Road 1008. No road or trail closures are anticipated. Tollgate Subdivision residents are encouraged to keep windows and doors closed to minimize smoke impacts.

Meanwhile, Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District firefighters plan to continue prescribed burning about 10 miles south of Bend and five miles east of Sunriver along Forest Service Roads 9720 and 9721 for 185 acres on Wednesday.

A small portion of the prescribed burn will be adjacent to Forest Service Road 9703 which provides access from Lava Lands Visitor Center to Highway 97.

No road or trail closures are anticipated; however, drivers should slow down and use caution around firefighters and fire vehicles. Smoke will be highly visible from Bend and Sunriver. Sunriver and south Bend may experience some smoke impacts. Oregon Department of Transportation and flagging personnel will monitor conditions on Highway 97.

This prescribed burn is within the Rocket Vegetation Management Planning area and has been previously thinned, pile burned and mowed. The fuels reduction work in this area decreases the potential for catastrophic wildfire to impact Sunriver. Firefighters may continue with ignitions in this area through the week if conditions remain favorable.

In addition, firefighters on the Crescent Ranger District will continue prescribed burning Wednesday on up to 75 acres 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. Forest Service firefighters will be working with Oregon Department of Forestry firefighting resources to conduct the prescribed burn operations. No road or trail closures are anticipated.

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.

These prescribed burns are occurring within the Central Oregon Landscape, one of 21 focal landscapes identified within the Forest Service’s Wildfire Crisis Strategy. The implementation of these prescribed burns supports the Deschutes National Forest’s commitment to addressing the Wildfire Crisis Strategy which aims to reduce severity of wildfires, protect communities and improve the health and resiliency of fire-dependent forests.

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 us 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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