Prescribed burning to occur due to favorable weather conditions - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Prescribed burning to occur due to favorable weather conditions July 14, 19-21

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NACHES, WA - Fire managers will once again be working to protect communities, maintain forest health, and return fire to the landscape this week.

Cooler and wetter weather has provided the opportunity for national forest fire crews to continue prescribed burning operations on the Naches Ranger District.  Prescribed burning will occur in the Angel and Canteen Underburn project area on July 14 and July 19-21.  During burning activities smoke may be visible to forest visitors and nearby communities.

The prescribed burn units are located approximately 30 miles west of Yakima near State Route 410.  The Angel Underburn is situated in the Rattlesnake drainage, near the junction of Forest Service roads 1500 and 1502.  The Canteen Underburn area is along the ridgetop on Mt. Clemans. 

“We plan to burn about 600 acres in these units if weather and fuel conditions remain favorable,” said Naches District Fire Management Officer Jeff Dimke.  “These units are situated at higher elevations where fire danger remains low and conditions are favorable for us to continue prescribed burning efforts.  In addition, these areas are forecast to have moderate humidity and cooler temperatures through the duration of the operation, which will promote a lower intensity fire.”

Individuals can expect to see some smoke coming from those areas, but widespread smoke impacts are expected to be minimal.  The weather forecast indicates potential for excellent smoke ventilation which may help to avoid significant smoke impacts to the Yakima Valley and nearby communities. 

Much of the underburn areas have previously been logged, leaving little concern for increased fire behavior.  “It is important for us to take advantage of opportunities to increase community protection from future wildfires and sustain healthy forests when conditions are right,” Dimke said. 

The goal of these prescribed burns is to reduce potential wildfire complexity and suppression costs by decreasing the amount of fuel which could fuel a future wildfire.  The prescribed burns will also encourage a desired state of resiliency historically typical in the eastern Cascade Mountains. 

The Angel Underburn is part of a Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration project intended to create a more resilient forest ecosystem.  “We use prescribed fire as a tool in combination with other restoration treatments to increase the development of a healthier fire-adapted landscape. The more of this work we can accomplish now will in the long run decrease the potential for future catastrophic fires and lessen smoke impacts.  It also helps us to put fires out when they are still small,” he added. 

For more information on the Naches Ranger District prescribed burning schedule, visit or call the district office at 509-653-1401.