The 15 prescribed fire project sites identified by the forest collaboratives are spread across the dry, conifer forests of Eastern Washington. These projects represent years of hard work, preparation, and planning.
While each site is unique, the projects share many common objectives:
- reduce overstocked vegetation and fuels
- increase opportunities for safer firefighting
- restore and maintain habitat
- create healthy forests that are more resilient to fire, disease, and insects
Sites go through a pre-treatment process where forests are thinned and fuels reduced to make the area safer for professionals to put fire on the ground. Boundaries around the burn project area, called ‘control lines’, are put in place. Control lines may use natural features like streams, already constructed features like roads, or may be newly created hand lines or dozer lines.
A detailed burn plan is created of the project area, including burn goals and objectives, available manpower, and required weather conditions. The burn plan details how to complete the burn itself and manage smoke, and includes multiple contingency plans for containing any fire that may go over the control lines.
On the burn, qualified and trained fire personnel work as a team with the right equipment to meet the objectives of the burn plan and safely manage the fire.
- Trained fire professionals are continuously on site, and have ready access to backup staff, as needed.
- Professional grade tools and heavy equipment are on site, including hose lays, engines, tenders, dozers and more.
- Fire professionals provide continuous fuels monitoring for the most efficient burning, including self-shutdown when objectives can’t be met or smoke intrusion is predicted.
- Fire crews continue to secure and monitor the project site after the burn is complete.