The Methow Valley Ranger District is planning a fall underburn totaling about 120 acres in the Wolf Creek drainage, the U.S. Forest Service said in a press release this week.
The underburn will reduce fire hazards for adjacent private and public lands by consuming debris left behind from earlier thinning activities, the release said. The low-intensity burn will be ignited by hand.
The 120-acre planned treatment in the Wolf Creek drainage, about six miles west of Winthrop, can only be burned after Aug. 1 each year.
A second underburn was planned about eight miles northwest of Winthrop — a 40-acre burn in the Fawn Creek drainage next to Eidelweiss. But Forest Service spokesperson Shannon said this week that the district “has decided not to burn the accumulated fuels on forest lands near the community of Eidelweiss this fall.
“An important consideration in our annual fuels program is input from the public … we have heard clearly that, given the 2014 fire season, local residents would prefer to wait to burn the 40-acre burn in the Fawn Creek drainage next to Eidelweiss.”
Predicted winds, temperature, humidity and fuel moisture are all considerations when deciding whether a unit is within prescription to meet objectives, the Forest Service said. The Wolf Creek drainage burn could take place as early as mid-September and, depending on conditions, may continue through October, the release said.
In addition to the underburn, the district plans to burn about 100 acres of hand and machine piles this fall and winter in the Cub Creek drainage, about eight miles north of Winthrop.
Piles from two timber sales, Urchin and Lucky U52, are targeted for burning this fall. Firewood gatherers are encouraged to continue collecting material from the Urchin Timber Sale log landings in accordance with the Forest’s firewood policy, the release said. However, the Lucky U52 Timber Sale landing material is unavailable to firewood cutters as it is behind a bermed road and accessible only via Eidelweiss roads.
Material left in both sets of piles will be burned later this fall after sufficient moisture reduces fire risk, most likely around late October or in November.
For more information, call 996-4040.