More than a quarter of wildfires in the state were caused by humans, say Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officials.
Of the 1,211 wildfires that have sparked in Washington state this year, 401 are confirmed to have been started by people, the DNR posted on their Facebook page.
DNR officials say hundreds of wildfires are still under investigation.
Beginning August 2, DNR banned all outdoor burning statewide. Some campfires may still be allowed in approved fire pits in designated state, county, municipal or other campgrounds.
The offered the following safety tips to prevent wildfires:
- Be sure recreation vehicles have operating spark arrestors
- Do not park vehicles in dry, grassy areas; residual heat from exhaust systems can ignite the dry grass
- Know the current wildfire risk in your county, destination, or area you may be working in
- Note: It's always illegal to light fireworks or use incendiary ammunition or exploding targets on DNR-protected lands
They also advise the following home landscaping tips during dry conditions:
- Work in the mornings or late evenings to avoid the hottest parts of the day, and postpone your work when the weather calls for low humidity or high wind
- Keep a water hose or bucket or fire extinguisher on hand
- Use a nylon or plastic weed whacker line instead of metal
- Be careful not to set a hot tool down on dry grass or leaves
- Allow power engines to cool before refueling, and make sure the hot exhaust is kept away from dry grasses, weeds, and shrubs - only use such equipment that’s in good repair and has spark arresters installed. when applicable
- Stay home for an hour after finishing your work - this way you’ll be around to notice if anything begins to smolder and smoke