Shooters are being asked to avoid one of the most popular shooting areas in Sisters Country during a cinder-crushing operation.

A contractor with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) began crushing and processing materials in Zimmerman Cinder Pit last Friday. ODOT will stockpile the cinder for winter sanding on local highways. They plan to take 8,000 cubic yards of cinder out of the pit, which lies on Deschutes National Forest lands. Zimmerman Pit, on land managed by the Sisters Ranger District, lies approximately 3.5 miles northwest of Sisters off Highway 20.

The contractor may operate Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Once started, the project is planned to last approximately 10 days, but could last longer if fire restrictions impact the contractor’s operations, the Forest Service reported. The contractor can operate in the pit until October 15, if needed.

Once the processing of the cinder is completed, ODOT will haul the material from the pit. Hauling operations will occur Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. ODOT plans to have the material removal completed by November 20.

The public is asked to avoid Zimmerman pit until the work is completed. Shooters may want to choose other pits near Sisters such as:

•?Cache Cinder Pit: 15 miles (four-wheel drive, high-clearance vehicle recommended).

•?Four-mile Cinder Pit: 7 miles (200 yards of range; high-clearance four-wheel drive vehicle required).

•?Garrison Cinder Pit: 7.3 miles (medium-sized pit; high-clearance vehicle recommended).

•?Melvin Cinder Pit: 8 miles (easy access; small pit suitable for handgun/shotgun).

•?Pole Creek Cinder Pit: 9.8 miles (small pit; relatively easy access, four-wheel drive recommended).

•?Schilling Cinder Pit: 19.7 miles (easy access; high-clearance vehicle; suitable for rifle/pistol/shotgun).

For more information contact the Sisters Ranger District at 541-549-7700.