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Above-average wildfire season predicted for parts of Washington

KIRO Seattle logo KIRO Seattle 5/13/2022 KIRO 7 News Staff

As a major wildfire burns in the Laguna Hills area of Southern California, officials have released information on the wildfire season outlook in Washington.

The National Interagency Fire Center said the central and southern parts of Washington are already at above-normal risk for wildfires. The agency said it expects the risk to stay at that level until July and August, when most of the state is expected to see above normal potential for wildfires. Western Washington is spared in that forecast, but that’s not the case for Eastern Washington.

KIRO 7 spoke with officials with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources about the months ahead. They pointed out that Eastern Washington is still in a drought, and at the same time, some spring rain has helped invasive cheatgrass grow. The grass is troublesome because it grows quickly and fuels wildfires.

Those factors led experts to predict an above-average fire season for Eastern Washington.

That absolutely tracks with the extended drought that is going on and the hot and dry conditions that will prevail by July and August,” said Matthew Dehr with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. “Just because we’ve had a wet spring doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods for fire season.”

Eastside Fire & Rescue in Issaquah has partnered with the King Conservation District to provide wildfire safety evaluations for homes and communities.

You can schedule an evaluation on the King Conservation District’s website.


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