Prescribed Burns planned for Stehekin Area
Contact: Kerry Olson, 360 854-7365 ext 13
Taking advantage of the cooler and wetter fall weather, North Cascades National Park fire crews are preparing to burn two units within the next two weeks. The exact timing of the prescribed burns will be determined by environmental conditions. The 54 acre Weaver Point unit is located across Lake Chelan from the Stehekin Landing near the Weaver Point Campground. The Boulder unit is located at the head of Lake Chelan and continues up slope toward Boulder Mountain. Fire crews are planning to burn 300 acres of this 658 unit at this time. U.S. Forest Service fire managers and the North Cascades Smokejumpers will assist with the burns.
Prescribed burns are the careful application of fire within defined boundaries. They are only conducted when very specific environment conditions, or prescriptions, are met. Fuel moisture, temperature and wind direction are important factors. The burn plans require that winds push smoke away from the burning units.
These treatments reduce the build-up of fuels, such as sticks, needles and other plant matter, and are intended to protect communities from wildfire. Specifically, the Boulder prescribed burn will provide a sheltered fuel break between the upper drainages of Little Boulder and Boulder Creeks and the Stehekin Valley floor. It will also protect the road system, which provides the primary emergency escape route for people from their valley homes to the boat landing. The Weaver burn will protect structures and the campground at Weaver Point from future wildfire. Prescribed burns also enhance habitat for fire-dependent plants and animals and help increase ecosystem diversity by stimulating new vegetation growth.
Visitors and residents can expect to see smoke from these two prescribed burns until significant rain or snow extinguishes the fires.