End of Fire Season!

Smoldering Pile of Yard Debris

The Central Oregon Fire Chiefs Association (COFCA) announces that burn season will open at sunrise on November 1st, 2018 for many of the local fire districts regionally in Central Oregon. With the recent fall weather and precipitation received in areas, the Fire Chiefs local fire departments, the US Forest Service, the BLM, and Oregon Department of Forestry have agreed that many areas are now safe to enter into burn season.


With that said, open burning within the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District will be allowed beginning Thursday, November 1 at sunrise with the following requirements:


  1. Download (www.sistersfire.com) or pick up a copy of the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District Outdoor Burning Regulations at any one of our Stations located in Sisters, Squaw Creek Canyon or Camp Sherman and have on site where burning is to be performed.
  2. Call the Outdoor Burning Line 541-549-2333 each day that you plan to burn.
  3. Follow all regulations in the Outdoor Burning Regulations brochure.


Please note that some municipalities such as the City of Sisters do not allow yard debris burning at any time during the year within their jurisdictions and certain homeowner’s associations may have further restrictions in place.


Staff will continue to monitor weather and fuel moisture conditions in the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District and may make modifications on a day-to-day basis.  Please call your local outdoor burning information line for your current conditions. If conditions become drier, individual agencies may choose to close local burning.


For residents who are uncomfortable burning or are not in areas where outdoor burning is allowed, the fall FireFree events will be available to residents. Watch www.firefree.org for the dates of these events in October and November.


Central Oregon Fire Chiefs federal partners (US Forest Service & Bureau of Land Management) will be performing prescribed burns throughout the region. These prescribed burns will be conducted under carefully planned conditions such as: with federal fire resources, professional fire managers and firefighters on scene, favorable weather conditions and carefully planned land plots. These prescribed burns improve forest health and reduce the forest fuels in order to lower the wildfire risk to our communities that is ever present later in the season when the conditions are even more extreme.






Prepared by Sgt. Kent Vander Kamp

Early this summer, Deputies with the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office assigned to the City of Sisters, have been investigating an increase of criminal mischief, trespassing and other criminal activity at the Sisters’ East Portal Interpretive Site. This is located at the intersections of Highways 20 W and 242, just west of downtown sisters. The site, owed by the US Forest Service, includes a parking lot for passenger cars, recreational vehicles, an interpretive kiosk display, and a rest room facility.

In June, Deputies and USFS Law Enforcement Officers began enhanced patrol of the area during the late night hours and contacted teens, transients and hitchhiking campers. While law enforcement presence has reduced the calls for service, the site was littered with human waste, soiled clothing, discarded luggage, broken camping equipment, alcohol containers and drug paraphernalia. Most recently, a city cleaning crew interrupted a transient attempting to light a warming fire inside the bathroom.

Overall, the East Portal Interpretive Site became uninviting and citizens reported felling unsafe approaching the site or using the facilities. Additionally, it was not representative of our Sisters community.

Yesterday, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Deputies and Sister-Camp Sherman Fire District Firefighters came together and collected a considerable about of trash from the site before washing out the kiosk shelter with soap, brushes and a fire hose.

The site is open to the public and we encourage the public to report any future suspicious activities.The Sheriff’s Office is working with the USFS Sisters Ranger District to improve the security with improved lighting and increased patrols.

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office is always seeking out ways to make our communities safer and our quality of life for our citizens better. Please contact one of our Deputies, or call our office at 541-388-6655 or on social media with any tips about how we can help prevent and reduce crime in your community.



Contact: Julie Spor, Public Information Officer





Date of First Incident: 7/23/2018

Time of Alarm: 6:42 p.m.

Address: 635 North Arrowleaf Trail, Sisters


A grill fire inside Rays Food Place in Sisters last night was rapidly extinguished before spreading thanks to quick action by employees on scene, and a rapid response by Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District.  All customers had evacuated the store and employees inside the store used fire extinguishers to stop the fire from spreading while firefighters responded.  First arriving units found an indoor gas grill covered with baking sheets with significant heat, but no visible flames.  Firefighters used a thermal imaging camera to confirm no heat in the ceiling tiles surrounding the hood of the grill, and damage was confined to the grill itself.


Shift Commander Rob Harrison said “The prompt effort of employees to locate and turn the gas to the grill off, and use a fire extinguisher to put the fire out helped to keep the fire from spreading.”    The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) offers the following safety tips in regards to use of a fire extinguisher:

Use a portable fire extinguisher when the fire is confined to a small area, such as a wastebasket, and is not growing; everyone has exited the building; the fire department has been called or is being called; and the room is not filled with smoke.

To operate a fire extinguisher, remember the word PASS:

  1. Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you, and release the locking mechanism.
  2. Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
  3. Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
  4. Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.

For the home, select a multi-purpose extinguisher (can be used on all types of home fires) that is large enough to put out a small fire, but not so heavy as to be difficult to handle.

Choose a fire extinguisher that carries the label of an independent testing laboratory.

Read the instructions that come with the fire extinguisher and become familiar with its parts and operation before a fire breaks out.

Install fire extinguishers close to an exit and keep your back to a clear exit when you use the device so you can make an easy escape if the fire cannot be controlled. If the room fills with smoke, leave immediately.

Know when to go. Fire extinguishers are one element of a fire response plan, but the primary element is safe escape. Every household should have a home fire escape plan and working smoke alarms.

Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District responded with three emergency vehicles and six personnel.  Additional units from Sisters-Camp Sherman, Black Butte Ranch and Cloverdale Fire Districts also responded to the fire but were canceled prior to arrival.


For more information please contact the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District at 541-549-0771.



 Central Oregon Fire Chiefs Announce Seasonal Burning Closing at Sunset on May 31

May 30, 2018

For Immediate Release

CONTACT:    Matt Smith

Fire Chief, Crook County Fire & Rescue

Chair, Central Oregon Fire Chiefs Association



The Central Oregon Fire Chiefs Association (COFCA) announces the date of closing for residential and private lands open debris burning across the tri-county region in Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson Counties. Burning debris piles on private lands in much of central Oregon will not be allowed starting on June 1 this year as the area heads into the summer wildland fire season.


“In order to best serve our residents throughout central Oregon with fire and EMS protection, Central Oregon Fire Chief’s each year, jointly select a common closing date to avoid escaped residential debris burns on private lands”, said Matt Smith, Fire Chief, Crook County Fire & Rescue, and Chair of Central Oregon Fire Chiefs Association.


“Many areas in Central Oregon are drying out quickly and local, state and federal wildfire suppression resources can be quickly needed as the conditions continue to dry out,” Chief Smith said. “Even though specific areas in Central Oregon still may receive a bit of rain or even a spring snow shower before or after the closure, the region as a whole is quickly approaching fire season conditions that create unsafe conditions for residential outdoor debris burning,” adds Chief Smith.


The Central Oregon Fire Chief’s Association strongly urges homeowners to prepare their property for the upcoming fire season now before there is smoke on the horizon. Homeowners and residents who have yet to Firewise their properties for the upcoming fire season will have three options for forest debris removal until fall and burn season opens again: chip the debris; haul to a local transfer site; or pile and cover until fall.


Central Oregon Fire Chief’s federal partners (US Forest Service & Bureau of Land Management) could possibly be executing prescribed burns throughout the region in preparation of fire season even after burn season closes on private lands. These prescribed burns will be conducted under carefully planned conditions such as: with federal fire resources, professional fire managers and firefighters on scene, favorable weather conditions and carefully planned land plots. These prescribed burns improve forest health and reduce the forest fuels in order to lower the wildfire risk to our communities that is ever present later in the season when the conditions are even more extreme. Creating fire resilient landscapes with prescribed burns is a critical component to implementing the National Wildland Fire Cohesive Strategy.


Residents are strongly encouraged to contact their local fire protection agencies for additional burning information and regulations. All Central Oregon fire departments and rural fire districts will continue to monitor weather and fuel moisture conditions in their district and may make modifications on a day-to-day basis.  Please call your local outdoor burning information line for your current conditions. If conditions become dryer, individual agencies may choose to close local burning sooner. Fire agencies will monitor fuels and fire conditions throughout the summer and anticipate the opening of burn season again in late fall.




Fire District Launches File of Life Program


The Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District launched a new program last week aimed at helping seniors and emergency care providers in Sisters Country when emergencies happen.  The goal of the File of Life Program is to have important medical information in one location in the event of an emergency.  The information provided in the “file” will help responders provide better care by having your past medical history and any medications you take in a convenient, common location in every household.  Both Cloverdale and Black Butte Ranch Fire Districts are also partners in the new program.


Matt Millar, a Fire Medic with the District said, “Emergency medical situations are inherently stressful, both for patients and care providers. Anytime we can come up with ways to minimize that stress it will create an environment on scene that is more conducive to the best possible care. By having an up-to-date and concise record of information pertinent to patient’s history like the File of Life, we improving our ability to deliver the exceptional care our constituents deserve.”


On Tuesday, May 8 staff from the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District presented the program to area seniors at the weekly senior luncheon at the Sisters Community Church.  Attendees received their File of Life Program packet.  Residents are encouraged to fill it out and place it on (with a magnet provided). or on top of their refrigerator, or in an easy access location for emergency responders.


The program is part of the Fire District’s Strategic Plan goal to provide an all-risk senior citizen safety program within the District.


For more information or to receive a File of Life Program packet, please contact the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District at 541-549-0771.





Date of First Incident: 4/10/18

Time of Alarm: 6:18 p.m.

Address: 468 S. Cedar Street


A chimney fire that spread to a shake roof was swiftly extinguished thanks to a neighbor’s quick call to 911, and an immediate response by Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District.  Renters and pets evacuated the home and began to apply water to the fire that had spread to the shake roof, while firefighters responded.  First arriving units found a fire involving the roofing material near an operating chimney.  The fire, approximately 20×30 feet in area was quickly extinguished with no damage to the living area of the home.  Damage is estimated to be approximately $5,000.


Fire crews removed burnt shingles and applied plastic to the damaged roof to help protect the structure from weather until new roofing materials can be applied.  The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but is believed to be related to the wood stove, which was in use at the time of the fire.  The home did have working smoke alarms, but did not alert the renters likely due to the fire being on the exterior of the home.  As a reminder, chimneys and vents need to be cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional at least once a year.


Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District responded with four emergency vehicles and ten personnel.  Additional units from Black Butte Ranch and Cloverdale Fire Districts also responded to the fire but were canceled prior to arrival.


For more information please contact the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District at 541-549-0771.




Thank you to everyone who attended the Era of Megafires presentation last night at the Belfry in Sisters.  We had a fantastic turnout of over 155 Sisters residents.  For those of you who asked for more information about fire prevention, fire safety and how to make your home/property more fire safe, we’ve provided the following links:


https://fireadapted.org/    Fire Adapted Communities

https://www.nfpa.org   NFPA Firewise

http://www.projectwildfire.org/  Project Wildfire

http://www.firefree.org/  Central Oregon Fire Free

http://www.wildlandfirersg.org/  International Association of Fire Chiefs Ready Set Go Program

https://www.forestsandrangelands.gov/strategy/  National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy

https://disastersafety.org/  Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety

https://www.fs.fed.us/fire/prev_ed/index.html  US Forest Service Fire Prevention and Education

https://www.fema.gov/media-library…/how_to_prepare_wildfire_033014_508.pdf  Fema- How To Prepare For A Wildfire

http://www.oregon.gov/odf/fire/pages/fireprevention.aspx  State of Oregon Fire Prevention

Is your home ready for wildfire season?

Save the dates for upcoming FireFree Recycling Events!


Last year’s fire season is fresh in many Central Oregon resident’s minds. Fire season is just around the corner and now is the time for Central Oregonians to prepare their home for fire season. It may not feel like it outside but fire season is on its way. There are some simple steps you can take to prepare your home and community for the upcoming fire season. This spring, partners in the Central Oregon area will host FireFree days. Crook, Deschutes, Klamath, and Jefferson Counties will all be hosting FireFree events for local residents to easily prepare for wildfire season. Check the dates below for a FireFree event near you!


Fire science tells us that if you have created and maintained a defensible/survivable space around your home, it has an 80% chance of surviving a wildfire without fire department assistance.  Those are great odds and FireFree urges residents to take that bet and get prepared for the upcoming wildfire season.  Now is the time to clean up your yards and create defensible spaces around homes and recycle that debris at FireFree collection sites FOR FREE in Crook, Deschutes, Klamath, and Jefferson Counties. Please note currently the Westside Site is pending confirmation from its new landowner, FireFree will announce the confirmed dates as soon as possible. This will be the last year the current Westside Collection Site on Simpson Ave in Bend will be available to residents. Take advantage of the Westside Site during the 2018 FireFree event to make the tenth and final year the best one yet!
Saturday & Sunday, April 28 & 29 and May 5 & 6 at Box Canyon Transfer Site in Madras.


Saturday, April 28 at Crook County Landfill in Prineville.


Saturday, May 5 THROUGH Sunday, May 13 at Knott Landfill in Bend.


 Early May 2018 at the Westside Collection Site in Bend.

2018 will be the last opportunity to use this site for FireFree, please check back at firefree.org for specific dates


Friday & Saturday, May 18 & 19 at Deschutes County Transfer Sites:

Negus Transfer Station in Redmond

Northwest Transfer Station in Cloverdale (Sisters)

Southwest Transfer Station in La Pine
Friday & Saturday, June 1 & 2 at Crescent Transfer Station and Chemult Landfill.


FireFree reminds you to take a look around your property in the “home ignition zone” where glowing embers can ignite spot fires and vulnerable areas like decks, patios and fences that can spread flames to your home.  And take advantage of upcoming FireFree Recycling Events to dispose of the debris for FREE.  


Where are your most vulnerable places for glowing embers to ignite your home?


  • Are your gutters and roof valleys free from debris like pine needles and leaves? Clean them out. Despite a metal or asphalt shingle roof, the buildup of gutter debris provides necessary fuel for the glowing embers to ignite adjacent fascia boards or siding – most often made of wood.
  • Do your shrubs and weeds provide a path of fuel for fire to reach your trees or home? Reduce shrubs and other “ladder fuels” around your home to reduce the threat of ground fires igniting nearby trees, or your home.
  • What can catch fire on your deck or patio or near your fence? Remove weeds, shrubs or any combustible materials from around, under or on top of your deck, patio or wood fence.   This includes toys, planters, construction materials, patio furniture and cushions along with even small piles of pine needles or leaves.
  • Do you have bark mulch, pine needles, ornamental junipers or flammable vegetation within 5 feet of your home? This can provide the perfect ember bed that will provides necessary fuel for the glowing embers to ignite the adjacent siding – most often made of wood.
  • Is your woodpile near your home or other combustible vegetation? Move woodpiles at least 30 feet away from your home or other combustibles.


Visit the FireFree website at www.firefree.org for more information about how you can prepare your property for wildfire season.

CONTACT: Alison Green





Local Fire Agencies Co-Sponsor Community Easter Egg Hunt

Children from infant to eleven years of age are invited to participate in the annual Easter Egg Hunt co-sponsored by the Sisters-Camp Sherman and Cloverdale Fire Departments. The event will take place on Easter Sunday, April 1 at 1 p.m. at the adjoining Creekside and Three Sisters Overnight Parks, regardless of weather. The Easter Bunny will be present to greet all.


Parking is limited, so plan to arrive early. Children wishing to participate are asked to be at the parks at 12:40 p.m. so they can be divided into the appropriate age groups. Children are divided into the following groups: Infant to 2 years old will be in the red area, 3-5 years old will be in the yellow area, 6-8 years old will be in the blue area and 9-11 years old will be in the white area.


Please be prompt, the eggs disappear fast!  Prizes for Golden Eggs!


Any questions should be directed to the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire Department at (541) 549-0771.


Park addresses are:

Creekside Park – 657 East Jefferson Avenue, Sisters, Oregon.

Three Sisters Overnight Park – 701 East Hwy 20, Sisters, Oregon


A Presentation on Wildfire’s Natural Role in Our Local Forests


The recent Milli Fire last summer burned over 24,000 acres and impacted residents and businesses in Sisters Country.  While it may not feel like it outside, fire season is on its way again!  Nationally recognized ecologist Paul Hessberg will give a presentation on wildfire, its natural role in our local forests and how that role has changed.  Local agency partners including the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District, USFS Sisters Ranger District, Oregon Department of Forestry, City of Sisters, Sisters Science Club, and Brooks Resources are sponsoring the free presentation, which will be held on Thursday, March 22 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Belfry in Sisters.


Last year was a record fire year with 9.1 million acres burning in the United States.  More than 680,000 acres burned in Oregon alone, in at least 33 separate fires, one of which was a megafire that burned over 190,000 acres.  Dr. Hessberg will present to the audience an engaging, multimedia presentation about wildfire, its natural role in our local forests and how that role has changed.  Dr. Hessberg will present the multiple options available to our community to reshape the wildfire problem and how we can better learn to live with fire.


Paul Hessberg, Ph.D., is a Research Ecologist with the Pacific Northwest Research Station, US Forest Service.  He has been studying historical and modern era forests of the Inland West for the last 32 years, publishing extensively in leading national and international journals.  His work documents large changes in forest conditions and how these changes, along with climate change, have set the stage for large and severe wildfires.  This presentation is an outgrowth of his research and his concerns for the future.


No tickets are needed for the event, which is expected to be attended at full capacity.  It is recommended that you arrive early to get a seat.  Doors open at 6 p.m.





Sisters Country residents, who may be interested in wildland or structural firefighting volunteer opportunities, are invited to an orientation of the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District’s upcoming recruit academy slated to begin on April 16.


The orientation and tour of District facilities will be offered in two separate sessions.  You only need to attend one session.  Orientation will be held at the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District Community Hall on Saturday, March 10 from 1 – 3 p.m. or Wednesday, March 14 from 6 – 8 p.m.


Volunteer Coordinator for the District, Captain Jeff Liming will give a short presentation on what is expected of a District volunteer, review training guidelines/expectations for the recruit academy, provide a tour of the main fire station, and answer any questions regarding the academy and volunteer program.


To be eligible to volunteer with the Fire District, an applicant must be at least 18 years old.  There is no need to apply for the volunteer program prior to attending the orientation.  Simply show up and learn about the volunteer opportunities.  Applications will be on hand for those interested.


Era of Megafires is coming to Deschutes County in a 3-part series in March. Save the date for the event closest to you. 

Era of Megafires comes to Central Oregon
Nationally recognized ecologist Paul Hessburg presents options for reshaping our wildfire problem


Bend, OR: It may not feel like it outside, but fire season is on its way. This March, local partners are coming together to offer three Era of Megafire presentations for Central Oregonians. The Deschutes Land Trust, Sunriver Owners Association, and Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District are sponsoring events in Bend, Sunriver, and Sisters.


Deschutes Land Trust is hosting Dr. Paul Hessburg as part of their winter Nature Nights series and the Sister’s event, hosted at the Belfry is sponsored in part by the Sisters Science Club. Last year was a record fire year with 9.1 million acres burning in the US. More than 680,000 acres burned in Oregon alone, in at least 33 different fires, one of which was a Megafire that burned over 190,000 acres. Dr. Hessburg will present to the audience an engaging, multimedia presentation about wildfire, its natural role in our local forests, and how that role has changed. Dr. Hessburg will present the multiple options available to our community to reshape the wildfire problem and how we can all better learn to live with fire.


Each Era of Megafire event is free to attend; however, registration for the Bend and Sunriver events is required. Date, time, location, and ticketing information is below:


Bend with Deschutes Land Trust’s Nature Night: Tuesday, March 20th, 2018 from 7:00-8:30 pm at the Tower Theater. Tickets go on sale February 20th here (https://www.deschuteslandtrust.org/hikes-events).


Sunriver with Project Wildfire: Wednesday, March 21st, 2018, 6:00-8:30 pm at the Sunriver Homeowners Aquatic & Recreation Center (SHARC). Tickets go on sale February 20th here




Sisters with Sisters Science Club: Thursday, March 22nd, 2018, 6:30-8:30 pm at The Belfry. Tickets will be available at the door, donations will be accepted but not required (pre-registration is not required).


Paul Hessburg, Ph.D., is a Research Ecologist with the Pacific Northwest Research Station, US Forest Service. He has been studying historical and modern era forests of the Inland West for the last 32 years, publishing extensively in leading national and international journals. His work documents large changes in forest conditions and how these changes, along with climate change, have set the stage for large & severe wildfires. This presentation is an outgrowth of his research and his concerns for the future.


About Deschutes Land Trust:

The Deschutes Land Trust is Central Oregon’s locally-based, nationally-accredited land trust. Since 1995, the Deschutes Land Trust has protected more than 8,900 acres for wildlife, scenic views, and local communities. For more information on the Deschutes Land Trust, contact us at (541) 330-0017 or visit www.deschuteslandtrust.org.



For more information on Project Wildfire visit: http://www.projectwildfire.org 

Thinning Operations to Occur Near Crossroads Subdivision

Goal is to improve fire resilience and increase safety near area

SISTERS– Over the next couple months, the Deschutes National Forest’s Sisters Ranger District will be doing thinning operations near the Crossroads subdivision to create a more fire resilient ecosystem adjacent to the neighborhood.


Fires like the Milli Fire last summer, as well as the Black Crater Fire in 2006, were close calls for Crossroads homeowners. The thinning of the area will create a more fire resilient and healthier forest.

Due to a variety of factors the number of trees per acre across the Deschutes National Forest is well above historical levels. This heavy fuel load has caused fires over the last two decades to generally burn at a higher intensity and at a larger scale, encompassing tens of thousands of acres at a time, unlike the smaller, less intense fires that occurred historically in Central Oregon’s fire-adapted ecosystems.

This thinning work is a part of the broader Sisters Area Fuel Reduction (SAFR) project and will leave the largest and healthiest fire resilient trees as a priority, incorporating a natural looking forest with a mosaic pattern of clumps and groups of trees as well as single trees and occasional small openings. This mosaic pattern mimics how a historical and regular fire regime would otherwise naturally shape the forest. Work previously done through SAFR has reduced the spread of fire during both the Pole Creek, 2012, and Milli Fires.

Current Operations

Thinning operations, which use heavy equipment, currently are underway a mile to the south of the Crossroads subdivision along Forest Service Road 15. At this time operations are done Monday-Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; however, as operations get close to the subdivision, activities will begin at 7 a.m. to reduce noise early in the morning.

All operations will take place north and west of Forest Service Road 15 and south of Highway 242.  Some thinning units are adjacent to Crossroads private property while others are not far away.

Operations are ongoing and are expected to be close to the Crossroads neighborhood around

March 1, 2018, depending on weather and soil conditions.

Contact: Jean Nelson-Dean, Public Affairs Officer, 541-383-5561 – USFS



Warfighter Outfitters Inc. is the latest recipient of an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) through the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District’s AED grant program.  The goal of the grant program is to maximize the survivability rate from incidents of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA).  One of the best ways to do that is to have as many AED’s as possible deployed throughout our fire district.

Warfighter Outfitters Inc. is a non-profit guide and outfitter providing service to the nation’s veterans on hunting, fishing and engagement trips.  The excursions include anywhere from 2 to over 30 veterans on a trip.  The organization is 100% volunteer based and the trips are funded entirely by donations.   The Fire District grant program covers up to $250 towards the purchase of an AED.  Because Warfighter Outfitters operates on donations only, they needed the full amount of the AED cost covered.  The proposal came before the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire and Ambulance Association Board at their January meeting, and they approved the expenditure of Association funds to cover the remaining portion.

Brett Miller of Warfighter Outfitters said, “With the remote nature of our offerings and the generations of veterans we serve, this AED will not only provide crucial, timely, lifesaving support to anyone on the river or in the woods, but will also provide peace of mind to all those on our trips and those around us on the river. This device is not only available to our veterans, but also the community that will be using the same water or land that we are on, and we always have many veterans who are very well trained with the devices.”

Fire Chief Roger Johnson added, “We are honored to provide this life saving support to veterans who have sacrificed so much for all of us”

For more information about the District’s AED grant program, please call 541-549-0771.



With the recent mild, almost spring-like winter temperatures, many locals and visitors alike are taking to the water, rather than the ski slopes, to recreate in Central Oregon.  Being unguarded in the water, especially when water temperatures are low is extremely dangerous.

According to the National Center for Cold Water Safety, immersion in cold water is immediately life threatening for anyone not wearing thermal protection such as a wet suit or dry suit.  If you’re not using thermal protection, cold water making contact with the skin creates cold shock, and causes an immediate loss of breathing control.  This becomes a threat to life even if the water is calm and you know how to swim.  Cold water immersion can also cause the heart rate and blood pressure to spike, which increases the risk of heart attack and stroke for some.  Some cold water deaths happen immediately and others can take hours.  Shock can happen within five minutes while breathing problems can persist for longer. If you’re lucky enough to survive the shock phase, you may lose the ability to use your hands and arms within minutes.  Hypothermia kicks in after about 30 minutes. Even those lucky enough to be rescued are at risk of heart failure or unconsciousness when being removed from the water due to drops in blood pressure.

Being prepared is your best option of staying safe and enjoying the water in Sisters Country year round.  Below are some tips the National Center for Cold Water Safety promotes as their 5 Golden Rules:

  1. Always wear your personal flotation device. It doesn’t do you any good to just have it available – wear it at all times in the water.
  2. Always dress for the water temperature – no exceptions. No one plans to fall in the water, especially during the winter months where water is at its coolest.  Dressing appropriately could save your life.
  3. Field-test your gear.
  4. Swim-test your gear every time you go out.
  5. Imagine the worst that can happen and plan for it.

To learn more about the dangers of cold water, please visit http://www.coldwatersafety.org



The Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District formalized a program for auxiliary volunteers in January 2015 by creating a Fire Corps program.  Fire Corps program volunteers are utilized to assist Fire Department and other related community service functions in non-emergency roles as needed for the Fire District.


Fire Corps assignments include: Administrative functions (office work, data entry), Life Safety Education such as CPR and First Aid training, Blood Pressure Assessments, green emergency Address Sign Program, public and fire/EMS department assistance and Community Risk (smoke alarms and fire prevention/safety education).  Fire Corps members may also receive training in other duties and programs as assigned by the Fire Chief.


The Fire Corps initially started with just a few members and as of December 2017 has 24 members.  The 24 members volunteered 2,532 hours in 2017 assisting the Fire Department with important community and fire/life safety events.


Currently, Beverly Halcon is the Fire Corps Chairperson and manages the activities for the members.  The group had many accomplishments in 2017 including:

  1. Completed 416 blood pressure readings during monthly BiMart blood pressure clinics. These are held on the third Tuesday of each month from Noon to 4 p.m.
  2. Installed 40 green reflective emergency address signs throughout the District. The signs help crews quickly locate addresses within the Fire District.
  3. Taught 10 CPR/AED and First Aid classes educating 106 community members.
  4. Performed residential smoke alarm testing along with the American Red Cross covering 29 homes and installing over 91 smoke alarms.
  5. Checked a total of 50 child safety seats through three Sisters area clinics and other regional clinics.
  6. Began an AED grant program encouraging businesses in the Sisters area to purchase automated external defibrillators. Nine additional AED’s were added to the community due to this program.


Chief Johnson said, “I am so proud of all of our Fire Corps members.  They provide services for our community that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to provide.  I am convinced that their efforts have saved lives and will save many more in the years to come.”


If you or someone you know might be interested in the Fire Corps program, please contact the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District at 541-549-0771.



Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District recognized the outstanding achievements of Resident Volunteer Rachelle Beiler by promoting her to the position of Resident Volunteer Lieutenant.  The Resident Volunteer Lieutenant is responsible for supervisory support of resident volunteer firefighters and EMT’s in the District’s resident volunteer college program.  The District provides college scholarships and housing to nine students annually who attend fire science or paramedic courses at Central Oregon Community College.  As a Resident Volunteer Lieutenant, Rachelle will receive a scholarship to study fire service administration through Eastern Oregon University.


Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District Fire Chief Roger Johnson said, “We are very proud of Rachelle and honored to have her as a member of our leadership team.” Rachelle has been with the District for nearly two years and is studying fire science and paramedicine at Central Oregon Community College.  Rachelle maintains a 4.0 GPA and has attained certification as an EMT, Firefighter 1&2, Apparatus Driver, Hazardous Materials Operations and six national incident management courses.


Rachelle discovered Sisters Country in 2015 when she worked as a volunteer at Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch East of Sisters.  Rachelle grew up in rural Lancaster County Pennsylvania and spent the summer working at the youth ranch.  While not working at the youth ranch, Rachelle signed up to ride along with the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District.  She fell in love with the community and fire department and applied the following year for the Resident Volunteer Scholarship program.  Rachelle will remain with the fire district during her four-year scholarship program and will receive certification as an Oregon and National Registry Paramedic and receive a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Fire Service Administration.





News Release from Oregon State Fire Marshal
Posted on FlashAlert: December 11th, 2017 10:18 AM

With the holiday season in full swing, State Fire Marshal Jim Walker urges citizens to remember fire prevention when decorating and entertaining.

From 2012 through 2016, Oregon fire agencies reported there were 3,510 residential fires during the holiday period from November 22 through January 15. These fires were reported to have resulted in 14 deaths, 194 injuries, and more than $61.2 million in property loss.

“This season is a busy and exciting time of year, but don’t let that distract you from keeping your family and friends safe from fire,” says Walker. “By following a few important prevention tips for Christmas trees, decorations, and candles, you can help ensure your holidays remain happy.”

Tree care and decorating tips:
* Choose a fresh, healthy tree with a deep-green color and flexible needles.
* When you get the tree home, cut off the bottom two inches of the trunk. This creates a fresh, raw cut for the tree to soak up water.
* Water your tree daily. A tree may consume between a quart and a gallon of water per day.
* Place the tree at least three feet away from any heat source such as a fireplace, woodstove, space heater, heating vent, baseboard heater, or radiator.
* Use only noncombustible or flame resistant materials to trim a tree.
* Always unplug tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
* If using a woodstove or fireplace, keep it screened at all times. Keep ribbons, boughs, and other decorative materials at least three feet away.
* After the holiday season or whenever your tree dries out, promptly dispose of it and other dry greenery. Burning a tree in a stove or fireplace is extremely dangerous; proper disposal includes recycling or pick-up by a disposal service.
* Never burn wrapping paper in the fireplace or wood stove. Wrapping paper burns at higher temperatures than wood and can cause a chimney fire.

Electrical safety
* Maintain your holiday lights. Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, and broken or cracked sockets.
* Do not overload electrical sockets. Do not link more than three light strands, unless the manufacturer’s directions indicate it is safe.
* Protect electrical cords from damage. To avoid shock or fire hazards, cords should never be pinched by furniture, placed under rugs, located near heat sources or attached by nails or staples.
* Make sure all extension cords and electrical decorations used outdoors are marked for outdoor use.

Candle safety
* Consider using battery-operated flameless candles, which can look and smell like real candles.
* Never leave a burning candle unattended. Extinguish candles when you go to bed, leave a room, or before leaving the house.
* Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn. Keep candles at least one foot from combustibles including clothing, curtains, upholstered furniture, greenery, and decorations.
* Always use a sturdy non-combustible (metal, glass, or ceramic) candleholder. If a sturdy non-combustible candleholder is not available, the candle can be placed on a non-combustible plate.
* Place candles out of reach of small children and pets.
* Avoid candles with items embedded in them such as twigs, flowers, or leaves. These items can ignite or even explode.
* Always use a flashlight — not a candle — for emergency lighting.

General fire safety
* Keep combustibles at least three feet from heat sources.
* For increased protection, have working smoke alarms on every level of your home (including the basement), in each bedroom, and in the hallway outside each bedroom.
* Make a home fire escape plan and practice it with your family and any overnight guests.
* Keep escape routes clear of clutter so you can escape quickly in case of fire.

For more information on fire safety visit: http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/SFM/pages/com_ed_section.aspx

Contact Info:
Rich Hoover
Public Information Officer
Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal
Oregon State Police
503-934-8217 desk
504-370-0033 pager


Date of First Incident: 12/9/2017

Time of Alarm: 1:04 p.m.

Address: 250 N Cedar Street


Quick reaction by bystanders and an immediate response by Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District kept a wall fire at a duplex from spreading to the entire unit.  Bystanders noticed the fire in an exterior wall of the duplex and called 911.  The bystanders evacuated the residents and put water on the fire in the wall while the fire department responded.    When firefighters arrived on scene they found fire smoldering in an exterior wall and used a chainsaw to remove the exterior siding and water was applied until the fire was extinguished.  Improperly stored ashes on a wood deck were believed to be the cause of the fire which caused an estimated $2500 in damage to the unit.  Ashes should be disposed of in a tightly covered metal container.  The container should be placed outdoors, at least ten feet from the home and any other nearby buildings. Ashes may retain heat for days after they appear to be out.


Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District responded with four emergency vehicles and eight personnel.  Additional units from Black Butte Ranch and Cloverdale Fire Districts also responded to the fire but were canceled prior to arrival.


Date of Second Incident: 12/10/2017

Time of Alarm: 3:37 a.m.

Address: 69318 Lariat


A renter inside a home in Tollgate early Sunday morning smelled smoke and noticed the roof was glowing inside the home.  The occupants of the home evacuated and called 911.  Fire units were dispatched to a chimney fire, but during their initial response received additional information that the fire was coming out of the roof.  When firefighters arrived on scene flames were visible on the roof surrounding the chimney.  Inside the home, the ceiling had visible fire in the area surrounding the chimney.  The fire was quickly knocked down from both the interior and exterior of the home but firefighters had to work with chain saws to extinguish the fire still smoldering in the void spaces in the rafters.


The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but is believed to be related to the woodstove, which was in use at the time of the fire.   Captain Ast said “the renters had only been living in the house for a couple months, but their landlord advised the chimney had just been cleaned prior to their moving in.”


Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District responded with ten personnel and four emergency response vehicles.  Black Butte Ranch and Cloverdale Fire Districts also responded with units and personnel assisting at the scene.  The damage to the home was estimated at $26,000.


For more information please contact the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District at 541-549-0771.



News Release from Oregon State Fire Marshal
Posted on FlashAlert: December 6th, 2017 8:42 AM

The Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal, through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, has activated its Agency Operations Center and 10 strike teams with equipment and personnel who are enroute to assist with the latest wildfires in California.

California fire officials submitted a request asking for assistance yesterday evening from Oregon. The OSFM activated its emergency mobilization plan, sending out the request for assistance to all Oregon fire agencies.

“Oregon fire agencies have again answered the call and we are honored to assist our neighbors for the second time this year, said Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple. “California helped us with the fires in southern Oregon this year, we assisted them in October and I am proud that we can again assist them in their time of need.”

California made the request through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact a national state-to-state mutual aid system. The EMAC request is sent directly to Oregon Emergency Management who contact and coordinate with the appropriate Oregon agency to fulfill the requests.

Oregon county fire defense board chiefs have activated 10 strike teams that are enroute from the following counties: Lane, Multnomah, Washington, Linn, Marion, Clackamas, Klamath, Yamhill, a combined team from Polk, Linn, and Benton counties, and a team from the Rogue Valley area.

Five additional strike teams are being ordered and will be enroute later today.

Contact Info:
Rich Hoover
Public Information Officer
Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal
Oregon State Police
503-934-8217 desk
504-370-0033 pager


Volunteers in the greater Sisters area are once again celebrating the holiday season with several activities during the next two months including the Sisters Christmas Parade, holiday lights display, Spirit of Christmas gift drive and community Christmas dinner at the fire station.


The Sisters – Camp Sherman Fire & Ambulance Association is sponsoring the annual “Spirit of Christmas Giving Tree” to provide Christmas gifts to families in need in Sisters Country this holiday season.  We expect to serve close to 250 families this year.


Gifts are available to children age newborn to seniors in high school of low-income families who live within the Sisters or Black Butte School Districts.  Applications for the program are available to be picked up now at the following locations: Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District, Kiwanis Club and the FAN office in Sisters.  Applications are due by Friday, November 17 at 5 p.m. in order to receive a gift.  Please get your applications in early so your request can be filled.


The Association is collecting new unwrapped gifts at the Main Fire Station at 301 South Elm Street in Sisters.  There will be “Spirit of Christmas Giving Trees” at Sisters Ray’s Food Place, Sisters Bi-Mart, Black Butte Ranch Post Office and Black Butte Ranch Police Department by November 18.  Last year we launched a new virtual “Spirit of Christmas Giving Tree” and plan to have that option available again this yearOn our District website at www.sistersfire.com you will be able to pick a tag and help make Christmas a little more special for a Sisters family in need right from the comfort of your home or from anywhere you have internet access.


Volunteers encourage you to pick a gift tag for a child from one of the trees and purchase specific gifts requested by the families rather than just donating a non-specific gift.  For those folks that would like to participate in the program, but are unable to purchase a specific gift, we will also accept cash donations.  Cash donations are tax deductible and will go toward gift buyingCash donations can be made at the main fire station at 301 South Elm Street in Sisters, by mail at PO Box 1509, Sisters, Oregon or on our website at www.sistersfire.comThe deadline for gift donations is Friday, December 1.  The tags that are not filled by the community will be filled by Fire District volunteer shoppers using donated funds, which mean that no qualifying child gets left without a gift.


If you haven’t seen the Christmas lights display at the main fire station at 301 South Elm Street in Sisters, be sure to drive by and stop and listen.  The light display is accompanied by music each evening from parade day until after Christmas.


On Christmas Day, The Sisters-Camp Sherman Rural Fire Protection District and the Sisters-Camp Sherman Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Association would like to invite the public to join us at our Annual Sisters Community Christmas Dinner to be held Christmas day at 1 p.m. in the Sisters Fire Station Community Hall located at 301 South Elm Street, Sisters, Oregon. Everyone in the community is welcome and no reservation is required.


For more information please contact the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District at 541-549-0771.



Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District Receives Distinguished Budget Award

The Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District has received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for its 2017-2018 budget.  The Distinguished Budget Presentation Award is the highest award in governmental budgeting. This is the second year in a row the District has received this award and is one of only a handful of fire districts in Oregon receiving the award in 2017.


In order to receive the budget award, the District had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation.  The guidelines are designed to assess how well the District’s budget serves as a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide and a communications device.  The budget document must be rated “proficient” in all four categories, and the fourteen mandatory criteria within those categories to receive the award.


District Finance Manager Kay Johnson was also recognized with a Certificate of Recognition for Budget Preparation.  The award is presented by the GFOA to those individuals who have been instrumental in their government unit achieving a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award. Johnson works with fire department staff to prepare the annual budget which is then approved by a citizens’ budget committee.  The budget is then finally adopted by the elected board of directors.


For more information about the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District or to view the 2017-2018 budget visit their website at www.sistersfire.com.






The Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District has recently made upgrades to its Locust Street training site in Sisters allowing firefighters a safe place to train. The property, located on South Locust Street near the City of Sisters sewer treatment plant is approximately four acres and was acquired in 2013 through an intergovernmental agreement with the City of Sisters.


As part of the long-range site plan filed with the City of Sisters, the District has completed several improvements.  The property was cleaned up and dead trees removed, new screening trees were planted, a shielding berm was installed and most recently one of the four acres was paved with asphalt.


For years, fire district personnel have trained either in the back lot of the fire station or in outlying areas of the City such as the industrial park or Pine Meadow Ranch area.  However, those areas have become increasingly difficult to use because of increased development and traffic.  Fire Chief Roger Johnson said, “It’s important for us to have a training location that is close to town and safe for firefighters and the public.  This site fulfills both requirements”.  Firefighters participating in training exercises must maintain their availability to respond to actual emergencies at any time. The Locust Street site is close to town and will provide for rapid response to 911 calls when emergencies occur. The location of the training site also allows for mutual aid agencies such as Black Butte Ranch Fire District and Cloverdale Fire District to participate in multi-agency training.


Training props designed to simulate a building’s roof and floor system are located at the site which allows firefighters to practice cutting holes in roofs and floors.  Future plans for the site include adding a small structure to conduct live fire training exercises and adding a fire hydrant to the property.  Having the ability to train with live fire in a controlled environment is critical for firefighters.  In the past, homes were often donated to the fire department for training.  With rising property values many of the homes that were once donated are now being remodeled.  The training site will also be used to conduct driver training and automobile extrication courses.


For more information please contact the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District at 541-549-0771.


Halloween Carnival & Safety Tips


Contact: Julie Spor, Public Information Officer




The Sisters community children and families are invited to a howling good time at the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire Station from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, October 31. Come check out our new carnival games and – if you dare – venture into the haunted maze at the annual Halloween event. There will be refreshments, prizes, and candy for all the trick-or-treaters. Grab your friends and join the volunteers for a screaming fun time! For more info call 541-549-0771 or visit www.sistersfire.com.




To ensure a safe and happy Halloween experience, please review the following safety tips:


  1. When choosing a costume, stay away from billowing or long trailing fabric. If you are making your own costume, choose material that won’t easily ignite if it comes into contact with heat or flame. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so they can see out.
  2. Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations well away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
  3. It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candles in a jack-o-lantern. If you use a real candle, use extreme caution. Make sure children are watched at all times when candles are lit. When lighting candles inside jack-o-lanterns, use long fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter. Be sure to place lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn and far enough out of way of trick-or-treaters, doorsteps, walkways and yards.
  4. Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes
  5. Tell children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches fire. (Have them practice stopping immediately, dropping to the ground, covering their face with hands, and rolling over and over to put the flames out.)
  6. If your children are going to Halloween parties at others’ homes, have them look for ways out of the home and plan how they would get out in an emergency.


The American Academy of Pediatrics also offers the following safety tips for children when making neighborhood rounds trick-or-treating.  Keep in mind a responsible adult should always accompany young children.


  1. Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
  1. If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
  2. Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.
  3. Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, remind Trick-or-Treaters:
    1. Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
    2. Remember reflective tape for costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
    3. Carry a cellphone for quick communication.
    4. Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
    5. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
    6. Never cut across yards or use alleys.
    7. Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom). Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.
    8. Don’t assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn’t mean others will!

Taking simple safety precautions like those listed above, including keeping decorations far away from open flames and using battery-operated candles or glow-sticks in jack-o-lanterns, can help ensure your holiday remains festive and fun!