CNW Fire Dispatch #6 – Land ownership maps

CNW Fire Dispatch #6 – Land ownership maps

Conservation Northwest / Aug 28, 2015 / Wildfire

Editor’s Note: This is the sixth of our dispatches from staff that live or work in the areas impacted by this year’s fires. 

By Chase Gunnell, Deputy Communications Director

Below is a map of 2015 wildfire perimeters (as of August 21st, 2015) overlaid with property ownership and land management in northcentral and northeast Washington.

So far, this year’s fires seem to show no preference for who owns or manages the land, or a certain land management approach, as it appears that national forests, tribal lands, state forests, and private lands all experienced about the same amount of fire activity.

Washington wildfires land ownership perimeter map_George Wooten Conservation Northwest
Map by George Wooten, Conservation Northwest. Also available as a PDF and on Flickr.

And for some more perspective, here’s some graphs of the same land ownership and/or land manager data in relation to acres burned by all of Washington’s large fires, and the Okanogan Complex and Carpenter Road fires, as of August 21st, 2015.

August 21st WA large fire land ownership graph George Wooten Conservation Northwest

Okanogan Complex Fire 2015 Land Ownership Graph. George Wooten, Conservation Northwest

Carpenter Road Fire Land Ownership Graph August 2016. Graph George Wooten, Conservation Northwest


Findings like this make it clear that we can’t merely “log our way out of our fire problem”. Heavily logged industrial timber lands, shrub-steppe grasslands, thick second growth national forests and primeval wilderness areas are all burning this year.

When conditions are as ripe as they were over the past few weeks, with the land dry and the weather hot and occasionally windy, nearly everything can be prone to fire. For more on this big picture, read Fire Dispatch #2 from our Science and Conservation Director Dave Werntz.

Though wet and rainy weather is in the forecast for the North Cascades starting today (including the Wolverine Fire area), fire activity is likely to continue for some time in the OkanoganNorth StarKettle ComplexCarpenter Road and Colville Complex Fire areas.

For the latest official fire updates, we recommend Inciwebthis GIS map, and the Okanogan County Emergency ManagementChelan County Emergency ManagementColville Tribes Emergency ServicesStevens County Fire District #1 and Ferry County Sheriff’s Office / 911 Facebook pages.

We also want to express deep gratitude to all the firefighters, first responders, National Guard, U.S. Army servicemen and women, and all the other heroes working to keep our communities safe during this demanding fire season. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those impacted.