USFS and DNR pronounce Aeneas Valley prescribed burn a success

Agencies team up for cross-boundary prescribed fire objectives in treatments within the wildland urban interface

Fire crew from the Forest Service and Department of Natural Resources teamed up to do cross-boundary prescribed burning in the Aeneas Valley. Submitted photo

TONASKET – The Washington Department of Natural Resources and the USDA Forest Service worked together in the Aeneas Valley over the past two weeks to complete multiple cross-boundary prescribed fire objectives.

The Northeast Region WA DNR and the Colville National Forest started working together last year to plan a cross-boundary prescribed fire. Under a new agreement, which allows USFS to conduct burn activities on WA DNR lands, the two agencies accomplished the first joint cross-boundary prescribed fire activities between the two agencies in the state.

“The utilization of the new agreement between the USFS and WA DNR is not only a great benefit to local land managers for our cross-boundary treatments within the wildland urban interface, it is a tremendous step forward for cooperative land management throughout the state. We could not be more excited to expand the already great relationship we have here locally with the Colville National Forest and its staff.” Pat Ryan, Northeast Region Manager While these burns move the forest towards a healthy ecological state, there were also goals to reduce fuel in the area for wildfires to consume, should they move through the area.

These maintenance burns also allow for periodic upkeep along some of the Tonasket Ranger District’s Potential Control Lines (PCLs). These designated areas give emergency managers clear, strategic options for further analysis if a wildfire were to occur in the area.

The Washington Department of Natural Resources, the USDA Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and local Fire Districts all worked together on this project over the course of the last week of April and the first week of May. However, the planning for such a complex prescribed fire has been months of work.