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Prescribed Burn Information through October 20, 2017

Prescribed Burn Information through October 20, 2017

Prescribed burns operations will be occurring in the Chumstick, Eagle Creek, Plain and Lake Wenatchee watersheds depending on weather conditions.

Expect reduced visibility along roads and in Leavenworth and Lake Wenatchee areas.

Burning operations will cease by 6:00 pm each evening.

  • For more information and to view a map, please visit: tinyurl.com/harqnw8 or call the USFS, Wenatchee River Ranger District Phone:  509-548-2550
  • Social Media: Facebook: @OkaWenNF    Twitter: @OkaWenNF    Text message: text ‘follow okawennf’ to 40404
  • To monitor smoke and air quality information:  blogspot.com
  • Recommendations to protect yourself and your family can be found on the Chelan-Douglas Health District website: http://tinyurl.com/airqualityhealth

Key Messages

What is Prescribed Fire? The planned application of fire in the right place, at the right time, for the right reason, by professionals

Why do we use it?

  • Reduces the risk of catastrophic wildfires
  • Improves forest health
  • Creates habitat for wildlife
  • Generates less smoke than wildfire
  • Fewer economic impacts than wildfire
  • Reduces the vegetation available to be consumed by wildfires
  • Serves as a fuel break for wildfires and creates a safety zone for firefighters
  • Used as a tool to control wildfires

 Why now?

Weather conditions influence fire behavior.  The time of year, wind, temperature, humidity, and fuel moisture are all considered before the Washington Department of Natural Resources, in coordination with Dept. of Ecology, approve the burn.

Smoke impacts to communities are an important consideration.  This time of year, as compared to hotter, drier summer months allows for managers to better predict the amount and distribution of smoke.

Isn’t it too windy?

Fire managers take on-the-ground spot weather reports and utilize NOAA predications each day.  Wind helps disperse smoke and provide “uplift” (i.e., move the smoke above ground level) and is necessary to move the burn.  Fire practitioners are trained to take into account wind speed and direction and manage the burn accordingly.

Please excuse our Smoke

We understand that this current fire season has prolonged impacts of smoke on  communities.  However, smoke from controlled burns this fall will be significantly less impactful than the summer’s wildfire smoke.  While inconvenient, smoke is a sign that important restoration work is taking place—making our forests healthier and communities safer.

  • Smoke will remain in the area for short periods of time after a controlled burn.
  • Smoke comes at known times and known locations and is regulated and monitored.
  • Best practices and weather conditions reduce the amount and effects of smoke on communities.

How come the USFS gets to burn and I don’t?

Jurisdictions for burning are determined by different governmental entities depending on who owns the land.

For current burning restrictions on County (unincorporated private lands), State, and Federal lands, please visit: waburnbans.net

Chelan County Unincorporated (Private Lands):  Contact your local fire district for current burning restrictions on private land.  Burn bans may be in effect until September 30.

For current information, please contact:

  • Lake Wenatchee Fire & Rescue: 763.3034 or non-emergency email: lwfr@nwi.net
  • Chelan County Fire District 3: 548.7711

USFS Lands:

The USFS creates a burn plan that is technically reviewed and agency approved before a prescribed burn.  The burn boss then must obtain smoke approval from the Washington Department of Natural Resources in coordination with the Department of Ecology to burn on their lands.  In other words, State agencies monitor and approve allowances for smoke from prescribed burns on Federal lands based on weather conditions.

The USFS regulates the public’s use of fire on USFS lands.

Forested Lands:  For current burning restrictions on State and Federal lands, please visit: waburnbans.net

Health & Safety

  • Prescribed fire smoke exposure is not known to cause long-term health problems in otherwise healthy people.
  • Minimize your exposure: Limit physical exertion, stay indoors, close windows and doors, turn on your air conditioner to circulate air, wear N-95 respirator masks if outdoors, leave the area.
  • If you have breathing or heart problems, see your doctor if your condition worsens.
  • Chelan-Douglas Health District website: http://tinyurl.com/airqualityhealth

Prescribed Burn Information through October 20, 2017 Document

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