Northwest Fire Danger Increases Early In Season As Temperatures Rise Above Normal
Washington state lands officials are warning people working and playing outdoors to be mindful of higher wildfire danger.
Heading into this weekend, they elevated the wildfire danger status in most of eastern and central Washington from low to moderate.
“The recent dryness, the recent heat, have caused a lot of our fuels, especially our annual grasses, to start curing out,” said Guy Gifford from the Department of Natural Resources. He says the fire danger isn’t high yet, but it’s headed that way.
And with temperatures moving into the 80s and beyond, Gifford is urging people who are spending time in grassy and forested areas to be aware of the conditions.
“A lot of our fires are caused by people outdoor burning, trying to get ready for fire season. So we’re asking people to be extra careful as we go to moderate. Have maybe two people out there, do the burning maybe in the morning, instead of the afternoon, when it’s cooler. Really check that wind. Wind gives us a lot problems where there are people outdoor burning, so pay attention to weather,” Gifford said.
The upgrade in fire danger covers most of the eastern two-thirds of Washington, from the east slopes of the Cascades to the Idaho border.
Copyright 2019 Spokane Public Radio
This year, fire camp could be as dangerous as the wildfires, and top Western managers are deep in planning how to make fire camps COVID-19 ready for fire crews. Hilary Franz is Washington’s commissioner of public lands. She says state, federal, tribal and local officials are trying to make fighting wildfires safe during a pandemic. Continue Reading Fire Camp Germ Spread Is Dicey In Normal Times. COVID-19 Could Rip Through Crews This Season
As the climate warms, fire seasons will get worse – that’s especially true for low-elevation ponderosa pine forests east of the Cascades. According to a University of Washington study published in the journal Fire Ecology, wildfires there will be larger and more frequent.
Continue Reading Northwest Fire Season Forecast: A Significant One, As Study Says People Should Prepare Long-Term
Each year, state, federal and local officials train around 1,000 firefighters. Trainings start in April and last through May. Now, that’s all on hold. Continue Reading Northwest Wildfire Season Is Coming Up — With Fewer Firefighters Trained Due To Coronavirus