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Prescribed Burns In Chelan Ranger Dist. 2/27/2012
The Chelan Ranger District is preparing to begin spring prescribed burning operations on 1,659 acres of National forest land in the Coyote Creek, Antoine Creek and Forest Mountain areas. Burning operations will begin as soon as weather and fuel conditions permit, likely early March and continue for several weeks.
The first planned treatment includes burning 644-acres in theCoyote Creek area on the north shore of Lake Chelan between the Camas Creek and Falls Creek drainages.  The primary objective for this burn project is to stimulate and restore grasses, forbs and shrubs that act as the main food source for big horn sheep in the area. 
The North Antoine prescribed burn area is located along Forest Service Road No. 8140 in the Antoine Creek drainage.  The overall objective of this 515-acre burn project is to use low intensity fire to create mosaic patterns across the landscape.   These patterns will create a discontinuity of fuels that would help reduce the severity of future fires. 
The Forest Mountain prescribed burn area is located off a spur road of Forest Service Road No. 8500 on the Barret Creek side ofForest Mountain.  The area was partially burned in the 1994 TyeeFire, so there is a mixture of surviving over story and natural and planted tree regeneration in this area.  The protection of these remaining trees, through the use of low intensity prescribed fire to remove fuel accumulations, is the primary objective of this burn.  Approximately 500 acres are planned for ignition.
These burns are part of the comprehensive Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Restoration Strategy.  Forest Service managers began implementing the strategy in 1999 to reduce the threat of uncharacteristically severe fires and bring resiliency to unhealthy forest ecosystems.
All Okanogan-Wenatchee N.F. controlled burns are weather-dependent and fire specialists will cease burning as soon as possible if objectives are not being met or weather conditions are unfavorable.  Their primary concerns include favorable winds that can minimize smoke impacts to public health and the risk of fire escape.
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources regulates smoke management and must approve all controlled burns on national forests within the state.  Okanogan-Wenatchee N.F. fire specialists closely coordinate with the state’s air quality managers, after they receive burn approval.