Washington studying if prescribed burns help prevent wildfires

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

The Okanogan Complex Fire. (Photo: InciWeb.nwcg.gov)

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington officials are conducting a pilot program to weigh the benefits of prescribed burns in preventing wildfires.

Our news partner The Seattle Times reports that the state Department of Natural Resources program is part of legislation signed last week by Gov. Jay Inslee that includes stronger language directing the state to approve permits for these burns.

The legislation comes after last year’s record-setting wildfire season.

Prescribed burns are intentional fires meant to reduce fuel for wildfires. Forest Service officials want to increase the scale of these burns in Washington.

The new legislation requires the Department of Natural submit a report about the burns to the Legislature by December 2018. It also loosens permitting requirements if it appears the fires are unlikely to significantly detract from air quality.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.