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Contact: Tonya Neider, 509-754-7816
Lake Chelan National Recreation Area may implement as many as three prescribed fires in the Stehekin Valley during the fall of 2017. Depending on conditions, these may begin as early as September 1.
Prescribed burns in the Stehekin Valley may include:
- Boulder: 2 blocks, up to 79 acres along both sides of the Rainbow Loop Trail
- Orchard Rainbow: up to 7 blocks encompassing 113 acres from the Stehekin School up valley to where the Stehekin Valley Road meets the Stehekin River
- Lower McGregor: 40 acres, approximately 1 mile up- valley from Harlequin Bridge
The goal of prescribed burns is to decrease forest fuel loads adjacent to roads, residences and structures. Benefits will include:
- Reduced small fuels, which are primary fire carriers,
- Decreased risk and intensity of uncontrolled wildfires,
- Increased nutrients for trees and understory,
- Increased understory plant diversity and natural reseeding of trees.
Public and firefighter safety are always the highest priority in all fire management activities. Safe and favorable weather conditions are expected during the fall season. Ignitions operations will take one to three days at each location. Project areas will be monitored until fully extinguished. Residual smoke may be observed for up to two weeks post ignition. Once the prescribed burns are completed on these units they will be monitored for fuel build up, and likely not treated again for 15–20 years.
Wildland fire management activities conducted by the National Park Service (NPS) are guided by NPS management policies and the 2009 Federal Wildland Fire Policy. The National Park Service is strongly committed to firefighter and public safety.