BEND, OR -- The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office has assigned a deputy to patrol the areas of China Hat Road and Juniper Ridge on a full-time basis, in an effort to reduce the risk of fire spreading to nearby neighborhoods. Open fires are banned on unprotected and county-owned lands, but DCSO says campfires and illegal burning remain problematic in unsanctioned camps. It's "an effort to mitigate fire risk to the neighborhoods that are adjacent to these areas. This focused patrol effort will be taking a proactive approach to illegal burning, and un-authorized campfires, human waste and trash dumping within these areas,” Captain William Bailey said in a statement.
Deputies will also soon be equipped with water bladders to quickly respond to "react quickly to a small fire and prevent it from growing into an out-of-control fire that threatens our community. The deputies patrolling this area will also be able to help coordinate firefighting resources into a location during a fire event, reducing the time it takes to get on scene and stop the spread of a fire," the agency says.