Olympic National Forest to begin prescribed burns

Fire managers at Olympic National Forest soon will begin their annual schedule of prescribed burns in both the Hood Canal and Pacific ranger districts.

Prescribed fires may begin as early as next week and continue through late November, depending on weather conditions, said Donna Nemeth, a National Forest spokeswoman based in Olympia.

They are designed with objectives such as clearing slash, which can fuel unexpected fires, in areas that have had recent logging.

Fire managers set the blazes only under optimal conditions, when wind, fuel moisture levels and relative humidity are favorable.

The fires will be monitored closely, and local authorities will be notified prior to ignition and kept informed throughout the burn, she said.

“Safety, for firefighters as well as the public, is the top priority,” she said.

Residents and visitors may see or smell smoke, and glowing embers may be visible at night.

Smoke may settle into lower-elevation areas, particularly at night and in the early morning hours, reducing visibility.

The National Forest Service has named the burns.

Their names, locations, number of acres and purposes on the east side of the Peninsula in the Hood Canal Ranger District are:

• Lilly Prescribed Pile Burn — Melbourne Creek, 161 acres, logging slash.

• Rixon Prescribed Pile Burn SEmD Snow Creek, 77acres, logging slash.

• Cougar Prescribed Pile Burn SEmD Gold Creek, 3.5 acres, site maintenance.

• Dennie Ahl Prescribed Pile Burn SEmD Dennie Ahl Hill, 2 acres, site maintenance.

• Quilcene Administrative Site Prescribed Pile Burn SEmD Village of Quilcene, 1 acre, site maintenance.

The names, locations, number of acres and purposes of prescribed burns on the west side of the Peninsula in the Pacific Ranger District are:

• Tom Creek Prescribed Pile Burn — Upper Sol Duc River, 3.5 acres, site maintenance.

• Snider Work Center Prescribed Pile Burn — Sol Duc Valley, 1 acre, site maintenance.

• Boulder Pit Prescribed Pile Burn — Boulder Creek, 1 acre, site maintenance.

• Quinault Administrative Site — South Shore Lake Quinault, 1 acre, site maintenance.

For general questions about fire management or prescribed fires, phone Nemeth at 360-956-2274.

For questions about a specific fire listed above, phone Don Svetich at 360-765-2225.

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