Chelan County has made some additions to its system for rating wildfire hazard.

Chelan County Commissioner Kevin Overbay says the new inclusions will improve communication with other agencies that also evaluate wildfire conditions in the county.

“We’ve been kind of speaking two different languages with regard to our federal and state partners,” explained Overbay. “They utilize stages for travel, as well as activity. So the board of commissioners passed an amendment to our fire hazard level ordinances that kind of come in line with what our federal and state partners are doing.”

The county will continue using the four-tier scale to rate wildfire risk it already had in place.

The additional three-tier scale will not only help align the county’s risk assessments with its state and federal partners but will also give the commissioners a new option when conditions become extremely hazardous.

“We do have a third level that gives the commissioners the ability to put travel restrictions in place or actually close areas completely off because of fire danger.”

Wildfire hazard levels traditionally increase as the season progresses.

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