OMAK — Wenatchee Valley College Continuing Education, in partnership with Okanogan Conservation District, is offering wildfire preparedness classes for those who want to be better prepared for wildfires. Two classes will be offered this fall and students may attend one or both of the classes.

Classes begin Oct. 23 and will take place at the WVC at Omak campus. 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. Learn more about the classes at okanogancd.org/wildfire-education.

The Managing Your Forest Land for Wildfire and Wildlife class will cover how thinning, grazing and prescribed fire can reduce wildfire risks while also maintaining quality wildlife habitat. Instructors will be Rob Lionberger and Ken Bevis from Washington Department of Natural Resources. This year, the class will include a field trip to the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area in Loomis to see how Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is managing its forest lands for multiple benefits. Snacks and water will be provided; students can pack a lunch if they wish.

  • Managing Your Forest Land class: Wednesday, Oct. 23, from 6-8 p.m.
  • Managing Your Forest Land field trip: Saturday, Oct. 26, from 9 a.m.- 2 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. A student who took the class last spring said: “This talk was outstanding: very well-organized, important information, clearly explained, communicated with enthusiasm. Awesome visuals.” This class will be offered twice:

  • Fire Ready Home and Landscape: Wednesday, Oct. 30, 6-8 p.m. or Wednesday, Nov. 6, 6-8 p.m.

Holly Thorpe is a writer and editor for the community relations department at Wenatchee Valley College.