LOCAL NEWS

After more early-season wildfires than ever, state prepares for long summer

Jul 9, 2021, 8:00 AM | Updated: 11:16 am
wildfires...
Fire crews work to extinguish hotspots of the Batterman wildfire in Central Washington on July 8, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Woodinville Fire/Twitter)
(Photo courtesy of Woodinville Fire/Twitter)

The unusually hot start to summer in Washington state has led to more early-season wildfires than ever, but there is a silver lining.

“There have been a few structures that have been lost — sometimes those are sheds, or garages, or barns — but we’re not really seeing a significant number of homes at this point, and that’s what we’re really excited about and hoping to continue,” said Robert Wittenberg, deputy state fire marshal.

Gov. Inslee declares state of emergency for wildfires, limited burn ban

Two state mobilizations — in which firefighters from around the state are called in to assist at a wildfire — for fires in Douglas and Whitman counties just ended. Two fires continue to burn in Spokane and Asotin counties, including the Andrus Fire, which has prompted some evacuations.

To prepare for a hot summer of more fires to come, the state is piloting a strategy where they pre-position firefighters and equipment in areas that are high-risk or known to be typical problem areas before a fire starts.

“This hot, dry weather that we’re currently having is not really helpful for us. So we’re doing our best to really be prepared and pre-positioning some of our resources where necessary so that we can respond quickly,” Wittenberg told KIRO Radio.

“Any fire at this point with these kind of conditions can become concerning, so I think every agency as well as the state resources are trying to address them as soon as possible,” he added.

Members of the public are asked to be diligent about clearing leaves and brush away from their homes, and to not use power tools or park a car around dry grass. While small backyard fires, such as those contained in a firepit, are allowed under Governor Inslee’s current burn ban, they should be placed at least 10 feet from anything flammable and constantly monitored, with a hose nearby at all times.

Last week, Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz said the state has seen the largest number of fires to date this year.

There will be numbers on fireworks-related fires available in the coming weeks.

Local News

USS John McCain...
KIRO Radio Newsdesk

Naval Station Everett welcomes USS John S. McCain

The USS John S. McCain is now docked at its new homeport, Naval Station Everett.
12 hours ago
vaccine booster, heart...
Stephanie Klein

What to know as Oct. 18 deadline for vaccine mandate approaches

The deadline for state workers, including educators, and healthcare workers to show their employers proof that they're vaccinated against COVID-19 is Monday, Oct. 18.
12 hours ago
medina...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Police: Two in custody after hit-and-run suspect rams patrol car; officer fires shots

Two people were taken into custody after a driver suspected of a hit-and-run rammed an officer’s patrol vehicle, resulting in the officer firing shots at the car Saturday night in Medina.
12 hours ago
Seattle library...
MyNorthwest Staff

Last of Seattle Public Library branch closures from pandemic comes to an end

Seattle has reopened its NewHolly library branch, meaning that for the first time since the start of the pandemic, all 27 of the city's branches are now up and running.
1 day ago
...
KIRO 7 News Staff

2 people shot in Seattle; suspect surrenders to police after SWAT negotiation

A suspect surrendered to police Saturday afternoon after two people were shot in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District, the Seattle Police Department said.
1 day ago
shooting...
MyNorthwest Staff

New rules for visitors to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle

Starting Tuesday, visitors to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle must show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or proof of a negative test within three days of visiting.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
...
Comcast

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Courtesy of JWatch Photography....
Experience Anacortes

Summer Fun Activities in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
After more early-season wildfires than ever, state prepares for long summer