President Biden turns attention to Washington, Western US wildfires

Jun 30, 2021, 1:01 PM
A spotter keeps an eye on a wildfire as it burns brush on Aug. 22, 2015, near Omak, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

President Joe Biden says it’s time to think of wildfires the way the government has long thought about hurricanes. Speaking with a group of Western governors, Biden stated that he’s ready to put a comprehensive effort in place as climate change coupled with drought conditions amplifying wildfire season, and now with extreme temperatures hitting the region as well.

Concern mounts over fireworks, dry conditions ahead of 4th of July weekend

The National Interagency Fire Center says the United States has experienced, on average, roughly 100 more large wildfires every year than the year before, going back to 2015.

Locally, Washington state is already experiencing its largest number of wildfires to date with 551 fires so far this year. That figure is up 50% from last year at this time, and is about a 90% increase over the five-year average at this time, according to state Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz.

Franz spoke Wednesday about the dangerous drought conditions in the state, urging Washingtonians to practice fire safety and refrain from starting outdoor fires. Officials with the state Department of Natural Resources are also asking everyone to practice extreme caution over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

“Please be safe, to be one less spark out there on our landscape and prevent the kind of wildfires we’ve already seen today and we’ve seen in previous years,” Franz said.

“It is very easy for these wildfires to start in every corner of our state,” she added

Haze at sunset isn’t wildfire smoke, so what is it?

During last weekend’s heat wave, Franz says three firefighters were injured, one significantly. She says they will all be OK.

Investigators are looking into the cause of the Cedar Hills fire earlier this week, just south of Issaquah. The fire came close to power lines but crews prevented it from damaging those lines.

Local News

seattle seahawks...
Frank Sumrall

Russell Wilson booed during Sue Bird tribute video, tension-filled reunion on the horizon

His segment in the tribute video was met with a shower of boos at Climate Pledge Arena earlier this week.
12 hours ago
(KIRO 7)...
Nicole Jennings

Residents celebrate West Seattle Bridge reopening, but still much to do

There has been a lot of criticism over the two-and-a-half years the bridge has been closed, mainly over how long it has taken.
2 days ago
(KIRO 7)...
KIRO Newsradio Newsdesk

KIRO Newsradio Headlines: Lightning storms ignite 13 new wildfires in Eastern Washington

The KIRO Newsradio newsdesk brings you its top stories on the afternoon of Aug. 12.
2 days ago
Former U.S. President Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower to meet with New York Attorney General Letiti...
Associated Press

FBI seized top secret documents in Trump estate search

“Not only will I not oppose the release of documents," Trump said. "I am going a step further by ENCOURAGING the immediate release of those documents.”
2 days ago
whatcom ferry chief...
Micki Gamez

Whatcom County’s Lummi Island is getting a new ferry

The Department of Transportation awarded a $25 million grant to replace the 60-year-old Whatcom Chief ferry with a new and improved electric-hybrid ferry.
2 days ago
Photo from KIRO 7...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Bonney Lake Sumner Little League team advances to World Series on controversial play

In extra innings, the Bonney Lake Sumner Little League team advanced to the Little League World Series on Thursday, by a score of 3-2.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
President Biden turns attention to Washington, Western US wildfires