Are you going on a Yakima campsite? Be aware of wildfires and be careful

If you’re camping in the mountains this Labor Day weekend, Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz asks you to be careful and do everything you can to avoid a wildfire. Campfire bans are in place in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, but Franz says many people are ignoring the ban. This is not good news as it says the forest is dry and the fire season is not over. “Over Labor Day weekend 2020, over 500,000 acres of land burned in just 36 hours,” says Franz. “We’ve seen firsthand that a single spark, under the right conditions, can make or break an entire fire season. make sure we’re not that spark this holiday weekend.

Many fires have burned but the number is the lowest in decades

Franz says there have been 445 DNR fires across Washington so far this season. She says that’s the lowest number of ignitions in the past decade – burning about 40,000 acres. But Franz says the forest is primed for a wildfire with hot, dry conditions projected east of the Cascades and parts of the state’s west side over Labor Day weekend. A Department of Natural Resources press release indicates that many fire danger rating areas in central Washington have a high or very high rating. Most of western Washington is now rated high, with the northwest corner rated moderate. You can follow those notes here.

So far so good but state officials are worried about the weekend

“Thanks to a wet spring and the hard work of our firefighters and aviation crews, we’ve been largely lucky so far this fire season,” says Franz. “But we are not out of the woods yet. Washingtonians must continue to be vigilant and responsible.

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