Approximately 1,400 acres are planned for prescribed fire treatment in the Potato Creek, Preston Creek, Brennegan Creek and lower Tyee Mountain areas.
As part of a project that has been on-going since 2000, up to 600 acres of prescribed burning is planned in Brennegan and Preston Creek areas. A prescribed fire treatment area of nearly 200 acres is located near McKenzie Saddle on lower Tyee Mountain. Also, approximately 600 acres in the Potato Creek area may be burned this spring.
The main objectives of these burns are to maintain and restore vegetation and fuel conditions, thin seedlings and dense saplings, reduce the amount of fuel that has accumulated over many years of fire exclusion, and lessen the size and severity of future wildfires in these areas.
All Okanogan-Wenatchee N.F. prescribed burns are weather dependent and fire specialists will cease burning as soon as possible if objectives are not being met or weather conditions are unfavorable. Their primary concerns include favorable winds that can minimize smoke impacts to public health and the risk of fire escape.
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources regulates smoke management and must approve all prescribed burns on national forests within the state. Okanogan-Wenatchee N.F. fire specialists closely coordinate with the State’s air quality managers.
Prescribed fires are part of the comprehensive Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Restoration Strategy. Forest Service managers began implementing the strategy in 1999 to reduce the threat of uncharacteristically severe wildfires and to return resiliency to unhealthy forest ecosystems.