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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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BLM to fight fire with fire at Fishtrap Lake

The 350-acre fire on BLM land  near Fishtrap Lake Resort in 2012  burned up to the Farmer Landing trailhead west of Fishtrap Lake.  Another blaze, the Watermelon Hill Fire, burned even more of the area in 2014.
 (Rich Landers)
The 350-acre fire on BLM land near Fishtrap Lake Resort in 2012 burned up to the Farmer Landing trailhead west of Fishtrap Lake. Another blaze, the Watermelon Hill Fire, burned even more of the area in 2014. (Rich Landers)

PUBLIC LANDS --  Slow-moving fires are planned for about 1,150 acres of U.S. Bureau of Land Management scablands southwest of Spokane near Fishtrap Lake starting this week to boost wildlife habitat and reduce the chance of intense wild fires during summer and fall.

The Spokane District will be conducting prescribed fires in the Fishtrap area of Spokane and Lincoln Counties, approximately 8.5 miles northeast of Sprague during the period from Wednesday, Jan. 15, through Feb. 28, depending on weather.

Smoke may be visible on active ignition days and for several days following, officials said, noting these burns are part of BLM's region-wide fire control program. A program of prescribed burns can help reduce the intensity and damage cause by natural fires, such as those that have burned in Lincoln County in recent years (photo above).

Says BLM:

Prescribed fire is used to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires, and increase public and firefighter safety. It also helps meet a variety of resource management objectives: reducing hazardous fuels (surface or ladder fuels), and restoring habitats and ecosystems. To restore fire to its natural role in forests and rangelands, trained experts employ low intensity prescribed fire in the spring and fall, when weather conditions minimize escape and allow for controlled burning.



Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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