Burns is a city in and the county seat of Harney County, in the U.S. state of Oregon. According to the 2010 census, the population was 2,806. Burns and the nearby city of Hines are home to about 60 percent of the people in the sparsely populated county, the largest in Oregon and the ninth largest in the United States.
The Burns–Hines region has a high-desert climate but was much wetter in the recent geologic past. The Harney Basin was the largest of many depressions in which lakes formed in southeastern Oregon during the late Pleistocene. Remnants of an ancient lake that reached as far north as Burns are at the center of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, south of the city.
Northern Paiutes or their ancestors, who were hunter-gatherers, have lived in the region for thousands of years. Since the arrival of Euro-Americans in the 19th century, cattle ranching and other forms of agriculture have dominated land use in the area. In 1930, logging in the mountains north of Burns led to the creation of Hines, a lumber company town, and the timber industry remained important to the local economy until the 1990s. In addition to ranching, a variety of private and public enterprises support the Burns–Hines economy in the 21st century. Annual events include a migratory bird festival, the county fair, and a country music jamboree.