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Wenatchee, Washington--(March 26, 2021)--This spring, firefighters across Central Washington will once again be putting good fire to work to help restore watersheds and better protect nearby communities. Frequent, low-intensity fire is essential for restoring public lands and the communities who depend on them.

“As snow melts and access opens to burn units, we will be taking advantage of favorable weather conditions to start prescribed burning where we can safely do so. No one knows what the fire season may bring, so it is important for us to be proactive when we have these springtime burning opportunities,” said Forest Fire Management Officer Rob Allen.

Just over 9,500 acres of prescribed burning is planned this spring, but not all planned acres may be completed if conditions are not favorable. Conditions include correct temperature, wind, fuel moisture, and ventilation for smoke. When these criteria are met, firefighters implement, monitor, and patrol each burn to ensure it meets forest health and public safety goals including air quality.

“These prescribed fire projects reduce the amount of burnable fuels in the forest, improve forest health, and help lower the risk of future high-intensity wildfires that are more likely to bring dense smoke and impact access to and use of the forest,” Allen said.

Residents and visitors can expect to see and smell some smoke during burning operations. Even though smoke from prescribed fire is usually light and doesn’t last long, it is important that smoke-sensitive individuals plan ahead and be prepared. For more information on smoke and public health, please visit wasmoke.blogspot.com or airnow.gov/fires.

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