For Release: May 9, 2021
Smoke will be visible from Sisters
Sisters, Ore — On Monday and Tuesday, fuel specialists will conduct prescribed burning operations approximately 7 miles south of Sisters adjacent to Forest Service Road (FSR) 16 and near Melvin Butte. These burns were planned for last week but were not completed due to weather.
Specialists will underburn approximately 147 acres on two units. Ignitions will begin at 9:00 each day. Smoke will be visible from Highway 20 between Sisters and Bend, Highway 126 between Sisters and Redmond, and in the Sister’s area.
Signs will be placed on the FSR 16 that will indicate to motorists to slow down because of smoke impacts. Signs also will be posted on FSR 1620. Motorists should avoid FSR 1620 during operations due to smoke impacts and heavy fire traffic.
The objective of this prescribed burn is to reduce the risk of high intensity fire to the public and firefighters and to protect public and private property by producing defensible space. The prescribed fire will reduce uncharacteristically high fuel loads improving forest health, sustainability, and resiliency.
The public can find an interactive map of prescribed burns as well as air quality information at this link: https://www.centraloregonfire.org/wildfire-smoke-air-quality-maps-2/ If the public wants to sign up for text alerts about prescribed fires and wildfires they should text COFIRE to 888-777.
The public is encouraged to close their windows at night and if smoke is on the roadway, turn on headlights and slow down while traveling through smoky areas. The public’s health is important to the Forest Service. While significant preventive measures are taken, many factors influence a person’s susceptibility to smoke, including severity and duration of smoke exposure and a person’s health. If individuals feel impacted by smoke, they should avoid outdoor physical exertion and remain indoors. If people experience serious health impacts from the smoke, they should contact their doctor. For more information about smoke and health, visit the Oregon Health Authority recommendations through this link: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/Preparedness/Prepare/Pages/PrepareForWildfire.aspx#health