Photo Credit: CCFD1 Captain McBride
The Columbia River Basin is a fire adapted landscape. For thousands of years, both human and lightning caused wildfires have helped shape the local ecosystem by allowing plants and animals that can live with fire to thrive, and limiting the spread of species that can’t. In forests and grasslands like ours, low intensity fires would regularly sweep through an area burning pine needles, dry leaves, dead wood, and low lying dry brush and grasses, while leaving many of the fire adapted trees and shrubs blackened but unharmed. In some cases single dead trees or clumps of closely spaced trees would burn, but usually the frequency of these fires would keep the fuel buildup low enough to prevent the fires from getting too intense. Early in the 20th century a rapidly growing population and a series of large fires led to an official government policy to put out all fires as soon as possible.
Building a Fire Adapted COmmunity
Photo Credit: CCFD1 Dan Hilden
It's not if, its when. Each summer we face the threat of fast moving fires in our foothills, right down to our own back yards. Wenatchee has every element for the making of a disaster scale wildfire like those of California's recent history, it just hasn't happened yet. Governments from federal to city, non-profits, insurance companies and your local fire district work together to "solve the problem" but it can not be done without your participation. Working together with a sense of shared responsibility is key in improving future wildfire outcomes. A Fire Adapted Community prepares for, responds to, and recovers from wildfire. There is no end state in this concept, rather a culture of living with fire on our landscape. A goal of the Chelan County Fires District #1 is to work side by side with homeowners, communities, businesses, agencies and organizations to increase our community wildfire resilience, and improve future wildfire outcomes.
We are here to Help!
Chelan County Fire District 1 is available to provide free wildfire home assessments. This face to face meeting provides a detailed report, and an opportunity to discuss your specific wildfire concerns with our professional staff.
In the summer of 2018 CCFD1 acquired a chipper using grant funds awarded by the Ready, Set, GO! program and the International Association of Fire Chiefs to implement a community chipping service.
The intent of this service is work along side communities collectively reducing wildfire risk. If you are interested in our program, or have questions please click the button below.
At this time we are only able to offer broadcast chipping. Broadcast chipping distributes chipped material back onto the owners property. We currently do not have a means to haul chipped material off site.