Fire managers plan to burn up to 1,500 acres of slash piles in many areas of the Cle Elum Ranger District. “Slash piles are a result of previous fuels reduction projects,” said Kimiko Nalle, fuels technician for the Cle Elum Ranger District. “We will be burning piles in the vicinity of Liberty, Osborne Point, and in the Swauk, Teanaway, Taneum and Roaring Creek areas,” Nalle said.
“As with any prescribed fire, a number of criteria must be met before burning can occur. Expected fire behavior, weather data, ground fuel conditions, smoke analysis, and risk assessment must be considered. There is also a contingency plan with staffing in place should the conditions change unexpectedly and the fire needs immediate suppression,” Nalle said.
Forest Service officials understand that the public has experienced weeks of heavy smoke this summer due to the large wildfires. “We ask for your patience. The amount of smoke produced from pile burning is expected to be far less than that emitted from a wildfire,” Nalle said.
The Forest Service will continue to work with our regulatory partners in order to monitor the weather and seasonal factors that affect smoke production from prescribed burning. Fire managers understand the concerns that accompany smoke emissions from prescribed burns and seek to minimize the impacts of smoke, while balancing the need to accomplish burning to reduce the impact of future wildfires.
The planned prescribed burns should not impact travel on forest roads. However, warning signs may be placed along roadways to advise and alert the public of prescribed burn activity.
For more information, please call the Cle Elum Ranger Station at 509-852-1100.