SISTERS, OR -- Crews with the Sisters Ranger District are conducting a thinning operation in an effort to lower the risk of wildfire, "They’ll be cutting down trees, thinning out the area to more of a natural condition; so, reducing the fuel loads adjacent to the community," says Jean Nelson Dean, with the Deschutes National Forest. The work is occurring near the Crossroads subdivision, an area Nelson Dean says at high risk of wildfire. But, she says reducing the amount of hazardous fuel has been proven to help, "Crossroads has had these kind of close calls, during Black Crater and Milli, and this project is part of a project that we’ve shown has created that fire resiliency adjacent to the community."
Those living in the area will see changes to the landscape as work progresses, "Certainly opening up areas. Thinning obviously will reduce the amount of vegetation in the area, in terms of trees; then they’ll probably be going through and doing some mowing and brushing." And, it could eventually lead to some prescribed burning in the area. Nelson Dean says the work is done strategically, "What they’ll first see is just thinning out of the trees and an opening up of the canopy. They’re going to see patches and clumps, as well as open areas. We try to create a mosaic pattern so it looks natural."
The project area is north and west of Forest Service Road 15, and south of Highway 242; some work will be done adjacent to private property.