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Wildfire businesses begin to bloom in NCW

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On the right is an untreated section of upper Derby Canyon where the Fischer Fire burned extremely hot in the summer of 2004. This photo was taken on Sept. 30 that year. On the left of the small ridge is an area that had been thinned and received a prescribed burn in 1998.

NCW — As Eastern Washington experiences more frequent and intense wildfires, communities and businesses are finding economic opportunities amongst the ashes.

Western states, including Washington, are experiencing an increased number of fires, likely due to climate change, according to the state Department of Ecology. The number of acres that will burn annually in the Western United States is expected to more than triple over the next 80 years, according to an analysis by the U.S. Forest Service.

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Wes Johns

Owner, Metau Resilient Forests

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Troy Abercrombie, a firefighter with the Wenatchee River Ranger District, lights brush in a prescribed burn Sept. 28, 2016, near the Chiwawa River Pines housing development overlooking the Chiwawa River. The fire crew burned about 40 acres in this area.

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Ted Alway thins ponderosa pines at his Derby Canyon Natives nursery on April 6, 2013. The trees are at what he calls the bird cage stage. The nursery, which Alway sold to Melissa Asher this year, features native plants that have been found in North Central Washington for sale on the retail market and for government contracts.

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Jesse Machado with the Wenatchee River Initial Attack crew sets fire at a prescribed burn northeast of Lake Wenatchee on Pole Ridge at 3,600 foot elevation on Oct. 31, 2006. The burn was intended to clear dead brush out of a 27-acre logging operation for replanting the next spring. Forest treatment efforts, including thinning, clearing and prescribed burns designed to prevent large destructive wildfires, are creating business opportunities.

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Seth Murray with the Wenatchee River Initial Attack crew sets fire at a prescribed burn northeast of Lake Wenatchee on Pole Ridge at 3,600 foot elevation on Oct. 31, 2006. The burn was intended to clear dead brush out of a 27-acre logging operation for replanting the next spring. Recent snow in the area and cold temperatures hampered the burn.



Tony Buhr: 509-664-7123

buhr@wenatcheeworld.com or

on Twitter @TonyBuhr

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