Each day, before burning, Fuels Specialists will evaluate air quality impacts to determine whether burning can occur. If conditions are favorable, fire managers will request permission to proceed from the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in Olympia. The daily decision about whether to burn piles will abide by the smoke approval agreement for silvicultural burning administered by DNR.
Prescribed burning is one of the tools used to reduce existing forest fuel accumulations in an effort to reduce wildfire potential and improve forest health. The prescribed fire program is intended to improve the safety of the public and wildland firefighters, minimize the size and intensity of wildfires, and create healthy forested habitats. Additional benefits of prescribed burning include habitat restoration, maintenance of species diversity, stimulation of forage for browsing species, and return of nutrients to the soil.
These burns 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 fires and bring resiliency to unhealthy forest ecosystems.
For updated information on our prescribed burning program, please call the Chelan Ranger District office at 682-4900.