Fall Prescribed Burning Projects Begin

Release Date: Sep 29, 2021

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest fire specialists are beginning the fall prescribed fire season with prescribed burns occurring this week on the Wenatchee River Ranger District, and next week on the Entiat Ranger District.

A total of 1,700 acres are planned for treatment across the Wenatchee River Ranger District in the following areas:

  • Natapoc Project — 200 acres near Fish Lake and Plain, WA
  • Upper Peshastin Project — 600 acres near the summit of Blewett Pass, units are east of Highway 97 and along Tronsen Ridge
  • Mission Maintenance Project — 900 acres along Mission Ridge near Wenatchee, WA. These units are located at Camas Meadows, Beehive Reservoir, and Martin Ranch

Plans are to burn 100 acres in the upper Peshastin unit on Thursday, and another 100 acres on the Entiat Ranger District next week. All burning operations are weather dependent and only occur if all conditions are favorable.

“We are transitioning into the fall weather pattern,” said Assistant Fire Management Officer-Fuels Mike Barajas. “Considerable amounts of rain fell during the past week moderating fire conditions across the district, so we plan to start prescribed burning operations as soon as we can.”

Prescribed burn activities maintain and restore vegetation and fuel conditions so if a wildfire should occur in the future, the size, severity, and effects can be more manageable. The objectives of these treatments are to improve protection to local communities, reduce forest fuels that could burn in future wildfires, enhance forest ecosystem health, and improve watershed function and wildlife habitat.

“A substantial amount of rain also fell on the Nason Fire, which is burning about 17 miles northwest of Plain, helping to cool down hot spots within the interior of the fire area,” Barajas said. “The portions of the fire that are not contained are in inaccessible terrain but there are multiple barriers limiting the fire’s spread. Due to the hazards from shallow rooted and fire-weakened trees which can fall at any time, the closure on Forest Service Road 6700 will remain in place for a while,” he added.

Smoke will be very visible to people traveling along the Highway 97 corridor and will also be seen at times from Cashmere and Wenatchee. For more information on smoke and public health, please visit wasmoke.blogspot.com

Real-time prescribed fire maps and updates are available:

Firefighter with driptorch starts prescribed burn

A firefighter uses a drip torch to ignite fuels on the forest floor during a controlled burn on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest in 2019. Credit: US Forest Service photo by Robin DeMario


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