MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Fire alongside I-5 in Seattle continues trend amid dry weather

Aug 3, 2023, 9:53 AM | Updated: 10:23 am

fire i-5 seattle...

Seattle firefighters drenched a smoky brush fire along Interstate 5 near Stewart Street and Eastlake Avenue in Seattle Thursday morning. (Photo from KIRO 7)

(Photo from KIRO 7)

Seattle firefighters drenched a smoky brush fire Thursday morning along Interstate 5 near Stewart Street and Eastlake Avenue in Seattle.

It’s a scene that’s been repeated frequently this summer, with a three-mile-long fire off I-5 in Marysville Tuesday and multiple brush fires in the Smokey Point Area Monday.

Over $200k in damage after 9 cars catch fire in Lynnwood apartment parking lot

“Yes, just this past month, we responded to well over 200 bark and brush fires throughout the city,” said Seattle Fire Department Spokesman David Cuerpo. “We’re seeing almost double the number of dry brush fires and bark fire responses that we had compared to last year.”

Meteorologists say that western Washington is running about six inches behind in rainfall so far this year.

Recently, the Washington Department of Ecology declared a drought emergency in 12 counties across the state, including Clallam County, Whatcom County, and parts of Skagit, Snohomish, and Jefferson counties. The rest of the region remains in a drought advisory.

The latest seasonal weather outlook for the rest of the summer through September continues to show good chances of warmer and drier-than-average conditions.

Although investigators have not yet determined what sparked Thursday morning’s fire, Cuerpo says that the warm weather, along with some carelessly created sparks, are the reason why this year has had more fires.

“These persistent dry, warm conditions create an environment where dry vegetation can easily catch fire, whether it be from discarded smoking materials, grilling, or even just sparks from chains that are dragging from a car,” Cuerpo said.

The Seattle Fire Department is asking drivers and homeowners to be extra careful with anything that might spark a fire. In more rural parts of King County, the high number of brush fires has led the King County Fire Marshal to issue a burn ban on all outdoor recreational fires effective immediately.

Follow Heather Bosch on Twitter or email her here.

MyNorthwest News

Image: At left, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., speaks during a news conference on Tuesday, Jan. 9...

MyNorthwest Staff

Top Washington state officials react to Trump rally shootings

Washington state officials react to the shooting at a Trump rally in Pennsylvania. The comments come from X social media.

4 hours ago

Auburn shooting...

Bill Kaczaraba

Auburn late-night shooting leaves one teenage boy dead

The Auburn community was shaken by a deadly shooting late Friday night. Police received reports of gunfire in the 500 Block of A Street SE.

4 hours ago

Fitness guru Richard Simmons died Saturday at age 76. (AP)...

MARK KENNEDY, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

TV’s silly fitness guru Richard Simmons dies at 76

Richard Simmons, TV's court jester of physical fitness who built an empire by urging the overweight to exercise and eat better, has died.

7 hours ago

Photo: KIRO Newsradio is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its "newsradio" format with a special ...

MyNorthwest Staff

KIRO celebrates 50th anniversary of ‘newsradio’ format with special alumni broadcast

KIRO Newsradio is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its "newsradio" format with a special broadcast featuring several prominent alumni.

10 hours ago

Photo: Police swarm Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood after shooting on July 3....

James Lynch

Police identify 2 girls who were with alleged Alderwood Mall shooter

There are new developments in last week's deadly shooting at Alderwood Mall. Jayda Woods-Johnson, 13, was killed.

10 hours ago

Renton bus crash...

Shawn Garrett, KIRO 7 News

Eight injured after bus crashes into Renton ravine

A bus driver suffered a medical emergency, crashing the bus into a ravine in Renton, injuring eight people on board.

16 hours ago

Fire alongside I-5 in Seattle continues trend amid dry weather