May 30, 2014
Crews to burn fuels around Castle Lake Fire
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) fire crews are launching a new effort to “burn out” peat ahead of the path of the Castle Lake Fire, which has been burning just south of Coulee City in an ancient lakebed since late last year. The area is just north of Sun Lake/Dry Falls State Park in Grant County.
The depth and difficulty of extinguishing peat fires has led to the decision to burn out fuels located south of the lake, reducing the potential of this fire escaping during the coming summer months. As conditions continue to dry out, this fuel reduction project will be conducted by crews from DNR on Saturday, May 31.
Crews from DNR will begin line construction today to create a control line around the fire, and the hope is to begin burning the fuels on Saturday, May 31. The project should be completed on Sunday, June 1. Smoke may be more visible this Saturday and Sunday. The peat fire itself will continue to smolder within the constructed fire perimeter. Intermittent smoke impacts may still occur, but this operation is to ensure the fire does not spread.
This area will be closed to the public during the duration of the project.
DNR’s wildfire mission
Administered by Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, DNR is responsible for preventing and fighting wildfires on 13 million acres of private, state and tribal-owned forestlands. DNR is the state's largest on-call fire department, with more than 1,100 employees trained and available to be dispatched to fires as needed. During fire season, this includes more than 700 DNR employees who have other permanent jobs with the agency and about 400 seasonal employees hired for firefighting duties. Additionally, Department of Corrections’ adult offenders and Department of Social and Health Services-Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration juvenile offenders participate in the DNR correctional camps program. DNR also participates in Washington's coordinated interagency approach to firefighting.
Media Contact: Janet Pearce, Communications Manager, 360-902-1122, firstname.lastname@example.org
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