Prescribed Fire in Wilderness

Firefighters lighting fire in understoryWhat we’re proposing

The Deschutes and Willamette National Forests are proposing to burn some selected areas in  the Three Sisters Wilderness and the  Mt. Washington Wilderness.

The entire project area will not be burned and when completed there will be a mosaic of burned and unburned vegetation across the landscape.



  • To protect wilderness values
  • To improve firefighter and public safety
  • To reduce risk from wildfire to infrastructure and natural resources outside the wilderness.

The prescribed fires would create breaks in the continuous vegetation, resulting in conditions that could improve opportunities to allow lightning-caused fires play their natural role in the wilderness.


  • We are starting the scoping & environmental analysis for this proposal (Winter/Spring 2013)
  • We posted signs at project area trailheads (summer/fall 2012 and 2013) asking for your thoughts and comments.
  • You can follow and comment on the project throughout the NEPA process (starting January, 2013)
  • We would burn the project area once a decision is made, and on-the-ground and weather conditions are right (earliest, Fall 2014)


  • Cascade Lakes Project Area (Three Sisters Wilderness):
    • Geoff Babb, Fire Ecologist
      Deschutes National Forest, 541-383-5521
  • Scott Mountain Project Area (Mt. Washington Wilderness):
    • Judith McHugh, Public Affairs
      Willamette National Forest, 541-225-6305