Wenatchee Valley College Continuing Education, in partnership with Okanogan Conservation District, is hosting Landowners Wildfire Bootcamp for landowners of one or more acres of forest or sageland who want to be better prepared for wildfires. The bootcamp consists of four free classes. Students may attend one or more of the classes in the series. The same classes will be offered at different times to accommodate different schedules.
The Landowners Wildfire Bootcamp series begins April 27. Most classes will take place at the WVC at Omak campus. Off-campus locations will be provided at registration. Register through WVC Continuing Education by calling (509) 682-6900, visiting wvc.edu/CED or in-person with Cindie Martin at the WVC at Omak campus registration office.
The Beginning Chainsaw Skills and Safety class is for those with little or no chainsaw experience. The class will cover how to safely use this tool and keep it running well. There are two class options: a coed class (April 27) and a women’s class (May 4).
Beginning Chainsaw Skills and Safety (co-ed): April 27, 8 a.m. to noon
Beginning Chainsaw Skills and Safety (women): May 4, 8 a.m. to noon
The Managing Your Land for Wildfire and Wildlife class will cover how thinning, grazing, and prescribed fire can reduce wildfire risks while also maintaining quality wildlife habitat. There are two class options: one class for owners of forested properties (May 8 or 11), and one class for owners of sageland properties (May 11 or 15). Landowners with both types of vegetation should plan to attend both classes.
Forest properties: May 8, 6-8 p.m. or May 11, 10 a.m. to noon
Sageland properties: May 11, 1-3 p.m. or May 15, 6-8 p.m.
The Fire Ready Home and Landscape class will cover the science of home ignitions and best practices to keep a home from igniting during a wildfire event. Since embers from wildfires can travel over a mile from the main fire, homeowners in more developed areas or surrounded by irrigated agriculture can be at risk along with those in forested or sageland areas.
Fire Ready Home and Landscape: May 18, 9-11 a.m. or May 22, 6-8 p.m. or June 3*, 6-8 p.m.
* at the Barn in Winthrop
Okanogan Conservation District’s Firewise Coordinator Kirsten Cook said that the course topics were selected based on the responses from a community survey conducted in fall 2018.
“Most people who responded to the survey wanted us to focus on two key areas: preparing one’s home and landscaping for fire season, and managing one’s forest or sageland property to be resilient in the face of wildfire,” she said. “Chainsaw skills also came up, so we included a class on that as well. We’ve got some great instructors who are looking forward to helping people learn and implement best practices to be more fire ready.”