Fire Evacuation

Tollgate map with fire exits and evacuation info (pdf)

Tollgate Dump Trailer

The Tollgate dump trailer is available to homeowners to use for gathering the common area pine cones, needles and seedlings. It’s a great way to reduce the fuel load around your property. Try inviting your neighbors and make a it into a party!

There are two times offered each week, Friday 10 am to Wednesday at 8 am, and Wednesday 10 am  to Friday at 8 am. Homeowners will receive an automated reminder two days ahead of time.

Click on this link to sign up for the dump trailer. You can enter info about where the maintenance staff should deliver the trailer. Staff will pick it up and take it to the dump. Tollgate will pick up the tab for the dump fee.

Need a new home address sign?

Many Tollgate properties sport decades old, faded address markers. The Sisters Camp Sherman Fire Department provides beautiful, bright green 6″ x 13″ reflective address sign and a mounting post to all interested property owners of the fire district. These signs are installed at the beginning of the driveway or common access road to properly identify your residence from the street. The cost is only $20 and includes installation. Order yours online here.

Firewise Fact Sheets

Firewise FAQ

The national Firewise USA® recognition program provides a collaborative framework to help neighbors in a geographic area get organized, find direction, and take action to increase the ignition resistance of their homes and community and to reduce wildfire risks at the local level. The Firewise USA® program is administered by NFPA® and is co-sponsored by the USDA Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters. Find out more about Firewise.

Simply put, Firewise provides voluntary guidance for community volunteers to voluntarily work together to keep their homes from burning down. It has absolutely no enforcement protocols or authority, just in case you were wondering about that!

Basically, the idea to “reignite” this volunteer program came about when neighbors started asking each other about the increasing fire danger. Several of us pursued those questions with local fire departments and subsequently got organized enough to go to the TPOA  board for permission to create a Firewise committee. Permission was received; local government grant money was awarded, and the committee began meeting to plan ways to help us all learn how to mitigate the very real fire danger to our community.

The Firewise committee developed four goals: Outreach, Events, Education, and Assessment. Implementation of each of these goals is based on building community, mutual trust, and voluntary participation. Outreach includes a section on the TPOA web site and a Facebook group; events include the Firewise annual rally each May; education is ongoing; and assessment tools were developed for homeowners to learn how they can protect their homes. The committee is chaired by Jane Killefer. Current members include: TPOA board liaison Jim Nash, Chris Laing, Kathy Campbell, Chris West, Joan Hardie, Janet Huerta, Christina Maier and Carolyn Dahlberg.

Evacuation is generally the first thing people want to learn about. So here’s the scoop:

  • Where are we supposed to go? The short answer is out Tollgate Road to Highway 20. Fires can be unpredictable, but the emergency exits are not the first choice for evacuation; those bumpy forest service roads are not conducive to quick escapes and may well put you in the path of an oncoming fire. In addition, the fire departments and other emergency personnel need those roads available to bring IN equipment as needed. Emergency personnel will likely be on hand.
  • How do I get notified of the evacuation plan? Basically, you need to pay attention to media outlets and online announcements. Sign up for “reverse 911” through Deschutes County.  We can help you do this if you bring your phone to the Firewise Rally in May.

Start reading everything you can get your hands on about preparing for fire. We guarantee that you will find easy first steps to take and information on what more can be done later. Here’s a good place to start: Plan to attend the next annual Firewise Rally in Tollgate on May 6, 2023.

As you know, Tollgate consists of 346 acres in a combination of private land and houses, including 126 acres of shared common areas. There are 13.25 miles along the paved roads and cul-de-sacs. The TPOA Board of Directors and the Firewise Committee are working together to coordinate resources to clean up and maintain the common areas. This is a major community undertaking, but we are confident we can get it done.

Firewise Information

Please take time to review the following information regarding wildfire prevention, Fire Alert and Evacuation procedures, burning regulations, fire exit locations and Red Cross Family Disaster Plan.

Each year, Tollgate supplies the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire Department and Deschutes County Emergency Control Services with binders containing emergency numbers for our staff and contractors, fire exit locations and lock combos and resident lists. Color-coded maps are included showing locations of wells, hydrants, fire exits, properties that have a shake roof structure and residents that may need assistance.

Fire Free Day at the Northwest Transfer Station on Fryear Road is in May each year (TBA). Disposal of yard debris will be at “no charge” (FREE!).

Please note the Tollgate’s outdoor burning regulations have changed. TPOA will no longer allow campfires, burn barrels or wood fire pits during the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire Department designated fire season. Gas or charcoal barbecue units or propane fire pits will be allowed.

Absolutely no fireworks are allowed in Tollgate.

The Importance of Defensible Space

In 1979 a forest fire swept through Tollgate destroying several homes. This video, (video courtesy of Boone Zimmerlee, Oregon Department of Forestry COD Stewardship Forester) shows why it is so important to maintain defensible space around your home.

A note from your Tollgate Firewise Committee: Watch this video about the 1979 fire in Tollgate! It is mesmerizing. Look for familiar landmarks in Tollgate; see what you recognize; watch and listen to the roar of the flames as this fire tried to devour our neighborhood. And listen closely to the expert analysis and advice offered more than four decades ago on protecting your home, your neighbors’ homes and our community. Are you frightened? More well-informed? Inspired to get your home protected? Wondering why more hasn’t been done in 43 years? Ready to help? We are!

Firewise Volunteer Hours

For a community to receive a Firewise rating, the community must log volunteer hours. Participating sites must accomplish the equivalent of one hour of work for every dwelling unit (home) in the community (Tollgate has 440 units). Tollgate can achieve this through documenting our work hours, cash spent, or in-kind services received.