This week, the Sisters Ranger District of the Deschutes National Forest will begin masticating brush on several sites across the district to reduce hazardous fuels and prepare areas for the introduction of prescribed fire in future years.

Over 1,400 acres will be treated across several units in two project areas: Sisters Area Fuels Reduction (SAFR), and the Metolius Basin Vegetation Management Project.

In the Metolius Basin, contractors will do approximately 870 acres of brush mastication to protect the community of Camp Sherman, while retaining the scenic values of the Metolius Basin. Temporary trail closures may occur on the Green Ridge trail beginning at FS 1120, heading east and extending roughly one trail mile. Trail closures may also be in effect on the Metolius River trail north of the House on Metolius Resort.

Additionally, trail closures may be in effect on the Metolius-Windigo trail (Trail #99) between Camp Sherman Road (FS 1419) and the Head of the Metolius parking area. The public is asked to be aware of these short duration closures during mowing operations and to avoid these areas while operations are taking place.

In the Crossroads and Tollgate areas, Forest Service personnel will conduct brush mowing on approximately 550 acres in the SAFR project. Residents are advised there may be short duration impacts to roads and user trails in the areas west of Crossroads and west of Tollgate, and for their safety to avoid these areas when mowing operations are occurring.

For more information on hazardous fuels reduction projects in Central Oregon, visit the interactive website at www.centraloregonfire.org or visit www.fs.usda.gov/deschutes and follow on Twitter @CentralORFire.

For further questions contact the Sisters Ranger District, 541-549-7700.