A program is set to start quickly to treat a burn scar left by the Methow Fire in South Wenatchee this past summer.  

There's funding in place for the pilot project that'll treat and then replant the area with fire resistant native plants to establish a more fire resilient landscape.  

Researchers say the slopes around the Wenatchee Valley are vulnerable to wildfires, which results in less fire-resistant non-native grasses and other noxious weeds taking over.  

The pilot program will begin in the coming weeks, weather permitting. 

The funding was secured by the Wenatchee Valley Fire Department in partnership with Cascadia Conservation District and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. 

According to a news release, the non-native grasses, known as “cheat grass,” is from Wyoming, but has spread and established itself across much of the western U.S.  

This type of vegetation contributes heavily to the fuel loads in the foothills around the area. 

The Methow Fire in South Wenatchee back in June burned 150 acres and threatened 50 homes at one point.  

Wenatchee Valley Fire Department Chief Brian Brett said the fire was inadvertently started by a Chelan County PUD crew that was working on Methow Street.  

 Aircraft were requested through state mobilization protocols. A total of eight aircraft - three helicopters and five airplanes arrived to assist ground crews. The aircraft mostly accessed water from the Columbia River to dump on the fire. 

The blaze was mostly contained within about six hours. 

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Gallery Credit: AJ Brewster

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