The U.S. Forest Service recently conducted a prescribed burn near Blewett Pass. Last weekend, the targeted fires covered over 100 acres near the base of Tronsen Ridge, followed by an additional burn of 56 acres on Monday. A total of 37 firefighters from various agencies, including the state Department of Natural Resources. Prescribed burns require careful planning, considering various factors such as weather conditions, vegetation size, and moisture content on the forest floor. The limited window of opportunity before the fire season begins necessitates coordination and flexibility. If conditions are unfavorable, the burn is postponed. The Forest Service assures local residents that these prescribed burns will ultimately reduce smoke levels during the fire season. Robin DeMario, a Forest Service public affairs specialist, emphasized that smoke is only released in small amounts during spring and fall burns, with minimal impact on nearby communities. Air quality monitoring indicated that Leavenworth and Wenatchee maintained good air quality, with Air Quality Index levels below 40 during the prescribed burn period, as categorized by AirNow. The Forest Service takes advantage of the prescribed burn opportunities during these specific times of the year to minimize the impact on local communities.
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