WA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife plans prescribed fires in Eastern Washington

Credit: WDFW

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife plans to begin its annual prescribed fires across Eastern Washington in October, if conditions allow.

Prescribed fires are a forest management practice that agencies use to reduce the risk and severity of future wildfires in certain areas. WDFW does prescribed burns in wildlife areas where animals may be threatened.

WDFW is planning to treat more than 700 acres with prescribed fires by the end of the 2022 fall season. This includes 500 acres in the Colockum Wildlife Area in Chelan County, and 200 acres of the Oak Creek Wildlife Area in Yakima County.

“By partnering on this project, prescribed fire managers can cover more ground more effectively and safely, which benefits not only both agencies but also the public,” said Matt Eberlein, Prescribed Fire Manager at WDFW.

Prescribed fires are conducted while conditions are in favor of low-intensity burning, such as in the fall when temperatures are cool and there is more precipitation. This makes burning safer while improving habitat and protecting wildlife.

“These areas slated for prescribed fire in eastern Washington include only portions of wildlife areas, leaving thousands more acres available for public access,” said Eberlein. “In the long-term, the work will preserve ecosystems and continue to provide access to public lands.”

If conditions are not safe, the prescribed fires may not occur. Additional burns in Eastern Washington could be announced later if conditions allow.

READ: Wildfire in southwest Chelan 100% contained