The Methow Valley Ranger District is planning prescribed burns this spring, both piles of slash and underburns to remove low vegetation.
Most of these prescribed burns are in the wildland-urban interface and will help mitigate the risk of wildfire, Assistant Fire Management Officer/Fuels Brian Campbell said.
The first burns will occur this week, weather permitting. On Wednesday (March 29), the ranger district plans to burn 5 acres of machine piles at the Twisp River Horse Camp. On Thursday (March 30), the district plans to burn 5 acres of hand piles at the Aspen unit near Brevicomis in the Chewuch. Smoke will be visible in the Twisp River and Chewuch River drainages.
Other areas scheduled for burning later this season include about 350 acres within the Lost Driveway project, primarily in the Early Winters area. Burning of some 300 acres from that project is already complete, but several areas remain to be burned. Another 15 acres southeast of Mazama from that project is also slated for burning this season.
The burning schedule includes three dozen areas within the Mission Project in the Buttermilk and Libby Creek areas. The largest areas there are about 300 and 500 acres, but most are 50 acres or smaller.
Almost 190 acres within the Goat Block are also on the schedule. Burning of the majority of that project — more than 550 acres — has already been completed.
Fourteen small areas, from 5 to 63 acres, in the Buck project in the upper Rendezvous near Buck Mountain are scheduled for burning this year.
There are five underburns, all along the Highway 20 corridor near Mazama.
More information about prescribed burns and an interactive map are available through the Methow Valley Ranger District website (follow the link for Prescribed Fires Information).
In a press release, the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest said that this spring, U.S. Forest Service crews plan to use prescribed/controlled fire across approximately 6,300 acres in the forest, including acreage in Chelan, Kittitas and Yakima counties.
People with questions about the prescribed burning should call the ranger district at (509) 996-4000.
The state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) also announced that it will conduct prescribed burns on more than 2,100 acres of state trust lands around the state, including Sinlahekin (140 acres near Loomis), Black Diamond/Aeneas Valley (142 acres near Tonasket), and Black Diamond/Havillah (398 acres near Tonasket) in Okanogan County.
Prescribed burn will begin in early April and could run through May into early June, DNR said. Successful implementation of the burns will be subject to weather and ground conditions, as well as the availability of personnel and other resources, according to DNR.
According to a press release, “DNR ended a 15-year pause of broadcast burning on state trust lands last year with three fuels reduction burns in northeast Washington. New agreements this year with The Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Forest Service will accelerate implementation of prescribed fire and unlock more opportunities for cross-boundary burning.”