Regional News

Human fire starts threaten communities, lands and livelihoods

Aug 24, 2016

Over the last six days, firefighters from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have responded to 82 wildfire starts. Investigators believe all but two of those were likely started by humans. 

DNR fire leaders are again urging caution with the expected arrival of hot, windy weather in the extended forecast for this weekend.

Firefighters not actively engaged in the ongoing large wildfires are strategically positioning for the coming weather, but DNR asks every Washingtonian to exercise extra caution when working or playing outdoors.

“It is the personal responsibility of all Washingtonians to take seriously the possibility that working or playing outdoors can spark tragedy,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “Our firefighters work hard to protect our communities and our natural treasures. Don’t make their jobs any harder.”

Last week, DNR instituted a full burn ban, which forbids outdoor burning, including campfires, on lands under the agency’s fire protection.

As of Tuesday morning, Aug. 23, DNR firefighters had responded to 592 fires that have burned 14,671 acres. At this point in 2015, there had been 857 fires burning 326,179 acres. In 2014 by this date, there were 653 fires burning 191,504 acres.

Those who spot illegal campfires or new wildfires are urged to call 911 immediately. 

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