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Western Washington will see above average fire risk this summer

Western Washington may need to be a little extra cautious when it comes to preventing wildfires this year.

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It’s better to pay attention to any government issued burn bans than say sorry.

Photo via the Bureau of Land Management

Western Washington is already in for a hotter than normal summer, but it looks like our side of the Cascades will be at a higher than average risk of wildfires this summer, too, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

The rest of the state is sitting at an average risk this year, making it already better than 2023’s outlook. Plus, a projected switch to a La Niña weather pattern later this summer may mean that we’ll get some relief toward September.

However, drier conditions, a lower than average snowpack in the mountains, a statewide drought emergency, and less rainfall this year isn’t really helping us out.

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Western Washington’s “above normal” risk area remains the same into August.

Map via National Interagency Fire Center

Of course, while we may be at a higher risk this year, these projections aren’t an indicator of how many or how big of wildfires our area might see.

To help address the risk, Puget Sound Energy is already readying its Public Safety Power Shutoff program, that will temporarily shut off power lines if there’s a potential they could start a fire. The Washington Department of Natural Resources is also planning to burn ~2,850 acres to prevent potential uncontrolled fires.

Here’s a few ways you can pull out your inner Smokey the Bear to help prevent any major disasters.

  • Pay attention to any government issued burn bans.
  • Make sure you completely extinguish any fire you make before leaving it unattended.
  • Don’t shoot off fireworks if restricted in your area.
  • Don’t burn anything if it’s windy.
  • Don’t park your vehicle in dry, grassy areas.
  • Look into whether you might need to apply for a burn permit for certain size fires.

Above all, keep an eye on announcements from your city, county, and state government departments to keep safe.

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