Wildfire Readiness

Some of the largest recorded wildfires in Washington state history have occurred in North Central Washington. These include the 2020 Cold Springs Fire, the 2015 North Star Fire, and the 2014 Carlton Complex Fire. Our region is experiencing rapid change, in part due to these large and often severe wildfires events and in part due to effects of climate change.

Chelan County has a Community Wildfire Protection Plan. This plan represents the efforts and cooperation of many organizations and agencies working together to improve preparedness for wildfire events while reducing factors of risk. The last plan was prepared in 2018. The Chelan County’s Department of Natural Resources has initiated work to update this plan. As in 2018, the planning work will involve all the cities in Chelan County, the Cascadia Conservation District, all local fire districts, the Chumstick Wildfire Stewardship Coalition, the US Forest Service and other federal agencies, and the Washington Department of Natural Resources.

This plan will assess the risk in the various sub-areas of Chelan County and will propose mitigation measures to reduce this risk. One of the issues that was not addressed in the 2018 plan which is of high concern to residents is the health effects of smoke. RC3 will be advocating for inclusion of this issue in the new plan.

Other concerns of residents include the adequacy of evacuation plans especially in the highly touristed areas of the county; the increasing cost of fire insurance; and the need for more effective and coordinated communication during wildfire events.

RC3 is supporting the work of agencies and organizations that are the responsible for wildfire planning and response to ensure the needs and priorities of residents are addressed.