Putting Good Fire Back on the Land - Cascadia TREX Fall 2019

Washington land managers and fire professionals are coming together this week and next to learn and practice essential skills for safely bringing good fire back onto the land.

Fire itself is an essential part of restoring our forests to better health. Controlled, prescribed burning can help prevent catastrophic wildfires like the ones we’ve been seeing with alarming frequency in recent years.

Kara Karboski, lead organizer for the training, coordinator for the Washington Prescribed Fire Council, on a controlled burn on private land near the town of Roslyn and adjacent to TNC land on Cle Elum Ridge in 2017. Photo © John Marshall.

Local, state, federal, tribal and private agencies recognize that we all must work together to prepare for a future with a greater threat of fire. Fire doesn’t follow property lines, but moves across the landscape according to terrain conditions, winds and weather. We must work across agencies, across the lines of public and private property, to meet this challenge.

Through Cascadia TREX (Prescribed Fire Training Exchange) we’re building capacity for more prescribed fire, and learning to work together across agency and property lines. TREX offers firefighters and land managers the opportunity to get hands-on experience in all aspects of prescribed fire, including preparation, scouting, ignition, holding, mop-up and patrol. Participants train with appropriate equipment and practice fireline leadership.

Similar TREX events take place nationwide. In Washington, this is our fourth TREX, as the state and its partners work together to implement the Washington State Wildland Fire Protection 10-Year Strategic Plan and a 20-Year Forest Health Strategic Plan to restore the natural wildfire resilience of our forests and reduce wildfire risk.

Real-time TREX information, maps, and updates:

·       Facebook: facebook.com/warxfirecouncil

·       Map of TREX prescribed burns

·       Map of prescribed burns on USDA Forest Service land

The 2019 Fall Cascadia TREX is funded by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service. Additional support is by the Washington Prescribed Fire Council, The Nature Conservancy, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and the Fire Learning Network. Other participants include US Forest Service – Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, British Columbia Wildfire Service, Kittitas Valley Fire and Rescue, Yakama Nation, Bureau of Indian Affairs – Southern Pueblos Agency, Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One, R&R Contracting, Mount Adams Resource Stewards, Kitittas County Fire District 1, Roslyn Fire Department, and Ecological Fire Solutions.