Fall Prescribed Burning on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest

I have had the opportunity to take some prescribed fire photos recently.  A week ago, on September 22nd I happened on a prescribed fire along U.S. 97 south of Blewett Pass at the junction with Old Blewett Highway.  The fire personnel there were gracious in allowing me to walk along the highway taking some photos.  Yesterday I had a much better opportunity on the Chelan Ranger District with a burn on Grouse Mountain in the Twenty-five Mile Creek drainage.  This time, I had an official invite, thanks to Chelan-Entiat District F.M.O. Kyle Cannon, and Ranger Kari Grover-Weir.  I also had the clothes, and the right boots.  I will have much more to say about this later in an article, but let me say this:  Prescribed fire is an art form.  Burn bosses have to tread the line between a fire that does not burn up what it should, and one that gets too rambunctious!  It sure is great to see all of that old dried up stuff that has been laying around for years go away, though! It's going to burn sometime, might as well be when a burn boss is in control!.

 Prescribed Fire along U.S. 97.  When someone throws out a cigarette next summer, it will be easier to contain the fire. 

Prescribed Fire along U.S. 97.  When someone throws out a cigarette next summer, it will be easier to contain the fire. 

 The fire is getting with it.  What readily burns, will burn up.  These are ponderosa pines, and they can take it!

The fire is getting with it.  What readily burns, will burn up.  These are ponderosa pines, and they can take it!

 Believe it or not, most of these trees will emerge from the inferno alive.

Believe it or not, most of these trees will emerge from the inferno alive.

 I felt conspicuous with a brand new yellow shirt!  In this crowd it is much more cool to have a faded shirt with a few tears in it!  The Briefing

I felt conspicuous with a brand new yellow shirt!  In this crowd it is much more cool to have a faded shirt with a few tears in it!  The Briefing

 A member of the Chelan Initial Attack Crew putting fire on the ground.

A member of the Chelan Initial Attack Crew putting fire on the ground.

 This stand was thinned fifteen years ago, but the thinned trees were never burned.  Now they are!!

This stand was thinned fifteen years ago, but the thinned trees were never burned.  Now they are!!

 Fire is taking apart what photosynthesis put together.  Fire intensity does not get any lower than what is shown in this picture. 

Fire is taking apart what photosynthesis put together.  Fire intensity does not get any lower than what is shown in this picture. 

 Another fire scar for this Douglas- fir!  The tree will likely survive, but with a higher crown base.  The lower limbs will be scorched and fall off, putting the tree at less risk in future fires. 

Another fire scar for this Douglas- fir!  The tree will likely survive, but with a higher crown base.  The lower limbs will be scorched and fall off, putting the tree at less risk in future fires. 

 It has been a wet summer, and the green fuels did not readily burn.  The crew had to work real hard to get the forest to burn! 

It has been a wet summer, and the green fuels did not readily burn.  The crew had to work real hard to get the forest to burn!