Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fire danger extremely high this weekend, Department of Natural Resources says

Washingtonians are urged to be extremely cautious over the next few days to minimize the risk of fires, the Department of Natural Resources warned tonight.

Public Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark and his team are calling conditions extremely dangerous. Dry, hot weather is partly to blame for the increased risk, explained Assistant Division Mark Gray.

"This next seven days will be some of the highest fire danger levels we’ve seen in recent years, for the Westside as well as the Eastside," he said in a statement emailed to the Northwest Progressive Institute and other media organizations.

Recent thunder and lightning storms have sparked nearly three dozen fires in differen parts of the state. Almost all of them are smaller than two acres, and have been contained by a firefighting force encompassing two hundred firefighters, thirty six fire engines, and nearly half a dozen helicopters.

Fires not started by lightning are typically caused by human activity: a careless smoker throws a cigarette into a patch of dry brush, burn bans are disobeyed, or someone is fooling around with a lighter. Such fires can be avoided; all that's needed is a little uncommon sense.

DNR suggests that campers, hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts check local conditions and restrictions by calling 1-800-323-BURN (2876) or visiting DNR's website.


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