Ready for fire

One of the new engines that will help our prescribed fire team function more efficiently.CNLM and its partners have spent the last nine months preparing for the 2014 burn season. Burn plans and permits have been completed. Our intrepid seasonal burn boss from Florida has returned to Puget Sound. CNLM has trained 20 new firefighters from our staff, AmeriCorps and VetCorps and 10 more from our dedicated Sustainability in Prisons Dept of Corrections crew. This brings the total number of nationally qualified firefighters to more than 70 from among all our core partners. We built two new engines: a 350 gallon Type 6 engine and a new UTV engine setup. Our burn partnership now has 6 truck mounted engines, 5 UTV mounted engines and several portable water tanks and trailers. This infrastructure of equipment and firefighters puts us in good position to safely conduct multiple burns on the same day and make the most of our limited burn window. It also will give us the resources to monitor and mop-up burns from previous days that may need ongoing attention. The warm winter and spring has put many of our ecological communities ahead of schedule by a few weeks, and we anticipate an earlier start to our burn season as plants senesce, birds fledge and we enter a more generally fire tolerant stage.