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News / Clark County News

Prescribed burn set for Gifford Pinchot

By Lauren Ellenbecker, Columbian staff writer
Published: September 28, 2023, 5:46am

In October, onlookers may see smoke emerging from forestland south of Mount Adams. That means everything is going according to plan.

Fire managers will begin prescribed burning in the forest, 6 miles north of Trout Lake and 4 miles south of the Mount Adams Wilderness area. The controlled activity may begin as soon as Oct. 7 and could last through Oct. 27, they announced Wednesday.

The prescribed burning is a part of the U.S. Forest Service’s Upper White Salmon River restoration project, which requires scorching 1,712 acres of ground vegetation and woody debris. Doing so makes the landscape more resilient to wildfires, insects and disease, according to the agency. This October’s burn will tackle roughly 288 acres of the plan, with other sections slated to burn in the coming years.

Loretta Duke, a fire manager overseeing the Gifford Pinchot National Forest’s south zone, said the window for a controlled burn in this area is small. Favorable conditions, too, are rare. So recent rainfall, mixed with shorter days and elevated relative humidity, is leading officials to act swiftly.

Signs denoting the beginning of the prescribed burn will be posted at both ends of the project area. Staff may have to temporarily halt traffic on Forest Roads 8020, 8225 and 8020-021 depending on smoky conditions.

For updates, visit www.fs.usda.gov/giffordpinchot.

Columbian staff writer