Puget Sound Ecological Fire Program 2013 Summary Report

Unable to rely solely on local fire suppression agencies to conduct ecological burns at the needed scale, conservation partners involved in the collaborative prairie and oak restoration program in Puget Sound have implemented a partner-driven prescribed ecological burn program with capacity to accomplish burning at the landscape level. 2013 marks our sixth burn season since we scaled-up our burn operations. Prior to 2008, we were only conducting one to two burns annually. Since that time, our partnership has greatly increased burning capacity. In 2013, a year hindered by exceptional weather and other unanticipated constraints, we completed 40 burns totaling 1173 acres on nine different properties in North and South Puget Sound. Based on the number of operational burn shifts (though not total acres), we continue to be the most active burn program in the state. Primary land managing burn partners include Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington Departments of Fish and Wildlife and Natural Resources, Wolf Haven, Center for Natural Lands Management and Thurston County as well as Pacific Rim Institute and Whidbey Camano Land Trust in North Puget Sound. This year we welcomed Olympic National Forest as a land managing burn partner with a collaborative attempt to conduct an ecological burn on bear grass savanna habitat.