The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service is implementing a 10-year wildfire strategy, focusing initial investment on ten landscapes, including the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. The Washington Central Crisis Strategy Initiative covers 2.45 million acres of land in Washington, from Winthrop to Naches.
“The Central Washington initiative is the coming together of several targeted investments in Chelan, Kittitas, Okanogan, and Yakima counties that will dramatically increase fuels and forest health treatments in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest and lands. neighbors,” said Forest Supervisor Kristin Bail. “Working with partners, we will plan and implement projects on the scale necessary to address the risk of large and destructive fires that have such an impact on our communities. I am excited to begin this important work to accelerate the pace of restoring our fire-adapted landscapes.
The initiative is further informed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources’ 20-year strategic plan. The Forest Service said it “will use this risk-based information to engage with partners and create shared priorities for landscape-scale work to equitably and meaningfully alter the risk trajectory for people, communities and natural resources, including areas important for water, carbon and wildlife.”
The goal is to address the wildfire crisis in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest landscape. Plans are being developed for several wildfire risk reduction methods, including tree thinning, prescribed burning, and further planning and analysis.