A small group of mostly volunteer firefighters armed with drip torches carefully set fire to a portion of Roslyn Ridge on Thursday afternoon.
The plume of smoke rising up and blowing east away from Roslyn sent a clear message to members of a historic community surrounded by forest. Local and state officials understand the seriousness of the wildfire risk and put a priority on prescribed fire as a vital measure.
“Especially with what’s been going on the last couple years, we’ve got to do something. And the state can’t be responsible for all of it because it’s a ton of area that needs to be protected,” Kittitas District 1 Fire Chief Brandon Schmidt said. “As much as we can (we need to) reduce the fuel loading, especially around towns like Roslyn that are really high on the threat level, and that takes the entire county.”