Healthy Forests and Safety Top Goals for 2016 Prescribed Fire Season

Release Date: Sep 12, 2016  

Wenatchee, WA — Starting this month, fire managers on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest (Forest) will begin utilizing the prescribed fire essential for healthy forests and better protected communities across the dry-side Cascade mountains.  Key goals for prescribed fire include continuing efforts to improve forest health and public safety by returning fire to local fire-adapted ecosystems.

“Restoration matters. The right fire at the right time in the right place is an incredibly effective way to have a healthier Forest” said Fire Staff Officer, Keith Satterfield. “Prescribed fire is one way we are actively working to help restore the land and safely serve our communities.”

While nearly 8,000 acres are planned this fall, fewer acres may be treated through fire if conditions are not favorable. Conditions include correct temperature, wind, fuel moisture and ventilation for smoke.  When these criteria are met, crews implement, monitor, and patrol each burn to ensure it meets the forest health and public safety goals outlined by fire managers.

“Community smoke concerns are our concerns as well” added Satterfield. “Each burn is coordinated with the National Weather Service and the state Department of Natural Resources to minimize the unavoidable impacts, such as smoke, as much as possible.”

Residents and visitors can expect to see and smell some smoke each day during burning operations. For more information on smoke and public health, please visit: wasmoke.blogspot.com

Several planned burns will be conducted collaboratively as a part of the Forest Resiliency Burning Pilot Project passed by the Washington State Legislature in the spring of 2016. Participants in this pilot include the Washington Department of Natural Resources, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, Tapash Sustainable Forest Collaborative, North Central Washington Forest Health Collaborative, Northeast Washington Forestry Coalition, and Washington Prescribed Fire Council.

For fire information, maps, and updates 24 hours-a-day, visit:

Fall 2016 priority prescribed fire by Ranger District

Chelan Ranger District:

Project Name

Acres

Location

Grouse Mountain

537

18 miles NW of Chelan, WA

Forest Mountain

405

11 miles W of Chelan, WA

Bear Mountain

26

6 miles W of Chelan, WA between Navarre and Knapp Coulees

 

Cle Elem Ranger District:

Project Name

Acres

Location

Liberty Fuels 52-56

111

17 miles NE of Cle Elum, WA

Orion 2

200

16 miles NE of Cle Elum, WA west of HWY 97

Orion 8

173

13 miles NE of Cle Elum, WA

Orion 3

45

15 miles NE of Cle Elum, WA

 

Entiat Ranger District:

Project Name

Acres

Location

Lower Tyee

1512

3-7 miles NW of Ardenvoir, WA

Forest Johnson

367

9 miles W of Chelan, WA

North Fork Potato

71

5 miles N of Ardenvoir, WA

 

Methow Valley Ranger District:

Project Name

Acres

Location

Goat

1070

2 miles SE of Mazama, WA

Lucky

56

6 miles NW of Winthrop, WA

Eightmile Bottom

479

8 miles N of Winthrop, WA

Upper Rendezvous

936

8 miles SW of Winthrop, WA

 

Naches Ranger District:

Project Name

Acres

Location

Angel

370

30 miles W of Yakima, WA near SR 410

Canteen

180

30 miles W of Yakima, WA near Mt. Clemans

 

Tonasket Ranger District:

Project Name

Acres

Location

North Flank

238

3 miles S of Havillah, WA

Bailey Restoration

45

SE of Tonasket, WA

 

Wenatchee River Ranger District:

Project Name

Acres

Location

Fishpole

370

1 mile SW of Fish Lake

Natapoc

180

1-2 miles W of Plain, WA

Chumstick

580

6 miles NNE of Leavenworth, WA

*Additional prescribed fire acres and pile burns may be conducted if favorable conditions allow.

Prescribed fire

Low to moderate intensity fire helps restore the forest and remove unhealthy woody fuel build-up north of Plain, WA on September 9, 2016. Credit: USFS/ Paul Laak

Prescribed fire

Firefighters from Washington DNR and the US Forest Service return healthy fire to the ecosystem north of Plain, WA on September 9, 2016. Credit: USFS/ Paul Laak