Fires: 2021

While Starvation Acres has not yet been involved in a wildfire during 2021, wildfires have affected how we use and think about ‘the acres’. Even before this (our first) fire season we were working on ‘wildfire abatement’ by reducing fuel on the property. Removing low limbs from pine, larch and spruce trees. Thinning over grown clusters to benefit the larger trees. Clearing areas near the property line and fence to allow for maintenance. It’s a big job and we’re moving too slowly! Even though we have worked hard and made a small dent in the hazard, there is still a lot of fuel for a wildfire to convert to heat, light, and ash. That would be terrible for us! 🙁

The fires have caused the closure of WA State lands managed by the State Department of Natural Resources which includes 15 square miles of forest across the street from ‘the acres’. I could normally walk across the road and hunt there. Colville National Forest, for the moment, remains open for use but much is inaccessible due to the closure of state DNR lands. Little Pend Oreille WA State Forest areas are closed since they are state DNR managed and further blocking access to national forest lands.

Black bear

Black Bear hunting season opens on August 1st and a great deal of public land is either closed or inaccessible for hunting due to the numerous wildfires. Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge bear hunting season opens on September 1st. The woods could be a busy place during the later part of bear season!

Considerations for bear hunters must include:
Can you access the land you want to hunt?
If not, is there a good alternative location?
Can you camp at the location or is it a long drive from the nearest camping or to home?
If you can camp, is there more than one way to drive out? (I have been faced with possible wilderness evacuation when the alternate way out seemed more dangerous than the fire.)
Is your ATV/UTV/electric bicycle/game cart/chainsaw/etc allowed or banned?
Currently it’s likely that any place you’d camp has a ban on camp fires and of cooking over charcoal.
Are you carrying a satellite beacon? One would be handy when fleeing a fire on foot…
I’m sure there are more which escape me this morning and I hope you’ll comment to add those.

Author sitting during a bear hunt.
Hunting is so much nicer when a wildfire isn’t trying to kill you.