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Summer Drawing To A Close, But Fire Season Far From Over


File photo of a fire danger sign between Chelan and Pateros, Washington, during the 2015 Okanogan Complex Fire.

File photo of a fire danger sign between Chelan and Pateros, Washington, during the 2015 Okanogan Complex Fire.

Scott Leadingham, Northwest Public Radio

While Labor Day marks the end of the summer to many people, conditions remain hot and very dry. That means wildfire season is far from over. 

The Washington Department of Natural Resources is preparing for the holiday weekend. Top firefighting teams have already been deployed to key locations around the state.

The DNR has asked that everyone to be extra cautious with fire hazards. Parts of eastern Washington have gone more than 100 days without precipitation.

“Our landscape is so dry that any spark on there will cause a wildfire,” DNR communications manager Janet Pierce said.

All campfires and outdoor burning are banned in eastern Washington and will be for the foreseeable future. So far this year, 88 percent of Washington wildfires have been human caused.

Pierce said that while the high temperatures this summer are not unprecedented, the wet spring we had means fire season started a little later and will last a little longer. Fire season officially ends Oct. 15, but with no real soaking rain in the long-term forecast, the danger could last longer into fall.

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