Washington state DNR to implement as many as seven prescribed burns on state trust lands this spring in central and eastern Washington; burns cover 2,100 acres across five priority watersheds of 20-Year Forest Health Strategic Plan for eastern Washington

Sample article from our Forestry & Timberland

April 3, 2023 (press release) –

Full implementation of the burn prescriptions would reduce wildfire risk and restore forest health ahead of fire season.
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources announced Thursday that it plans to implement as many as seven prescribed burns on state trust lands this spring in central and eastern Washington.
Prescribed burn operations will begin in early April and could run through May into early June. Successful implementation of all seven burns will be subject to weather and ground conditions, as well as the availability of personnel and other resources.
“Prescribed fire is one of the most important tools we have to restore the health of our forests,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. “Prescribed fire is one of the most cost-effective ways for us to remove excess fuels and create defensible space for wildland firefighters as they fight to protect our homes and communities each summer.”
Prescribed fires are a common tool used by land managers and conservation groups to reduce the amount of fuel available for wildfires, improve the health of older trees, support new and current wildlife habitats, and recycle soil nutrients back into the ground.
Successful completion of a prescribed fire operation enhances public safety by providing wildland firefighters a safer landscape on which to fight a wildfire. It can also lessen the amount of smoke caused by wildfires due to the reduction of fuels.
DNR ended a 15-year pause of broadcast burning on state trust lands last year with three fuels reduction burns in northeast Washington. New agreements this year with The Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Forest Service will accelerate implementation of prescribed fire and unlock more opportunities for cross-boundary burning.
“These new agreements to work collaboratively and to share resources across boundaries not only strengthen the existing partnerships we have across Washington, but will enable us to forge new ones as we continue to invest in prescribed fire around the state,” said Prescribed Fire Program Manager Jeff Dimke.
Windows of time for safe and effective implementation of prescribed fire often occur on short notice. Local media receive notice of a prescribed burn a few days prior to planned ignition. DNR also uses the following methods to inform the public ahead of a burn:

The burns listed below in alphabetical order cover more than 2,100 acres across five priority watersheds of the 20-Year Forest Health Strategic Plan for eastern Washington:
Airport: 659 acres near Glenwood in Klickitat County
Black Diamond – Aeneas Valley: 142 acres near Tonasket in Okanogan County
Black Diamond – Havillah: 398 acres near Tonasket in Okanogan County
Boggs Pit: 240 acres near Deer Park in Spokane County
Plumback: 195 acres near Cle Elum in Kittitas County
Sinlahekin: 140 acres near Loomis in Okanogan County
South Park: 370 acres near Glenwood in Klickitat County
Photos and videos from fall burns are available here.

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