Prescribed burn operations will begin in early April and could run through May into early June. Successful implementation of all seven burns will be subject to weather and ground conditions, as well as the availability of personnel and other resources.
“Prescribed fire is one of the most important tools we have to restore the health of our forests,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. “Prescribed fire is one of the most cost-effective ways for us to remove excess fuels and create defensible space for wildland firefighters as they fight to protect our homes and communities each summer.”
Prescribed fires are a common tool used by land managers and conservation groups to reduce the amount of fuel available for wildfires, improve the health of older trees, support new and current wildlife habitats, and recycle soil nutrients back into the ground.
Successful completion of a prescribed fire operation enhances public safety by providing wildland firefighters a safer landscape on which to fight a wildfire. It can also lessen the amount of smoke caused by wildfires due to the reduction of fuels.
DNR ended a 15-year pause of broadcast burning on state trust lands last year with three fuels reduction burns in northeast Washington. New agreements this year with The Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Forest Service will accelerate implementation of prescribed fire and unlock more opportunities for cross-boundary burning.
“These new agreements to work collaboratively and to share resources across boundaries not only strengthen the existing partnerships we have across Washington, but will enable us to forge new ones as we continue to invest in prescribed fire around the state,” said Prescribed Fire Program Manager Jeff Dimke.
Windows of time for safe and effective implementation of prescribed fire often occur on short notice. Local media receive notice of a prescribed burn a few days prior to planned ignition.
The other prescribed burns will take place in: Airport, 659 acres near Glenwood in Klickitat County; Boggs Pit, 240 acres near Deer Park in Spokane County; Plumback, 195 acres near Cle Elum in Kittitas County and South Park, 370 acres near Glenwood in Klickitat County