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Fire authorities urge caution as dry weather continues in Pierce County

Firefighters are warning people in Pierce County that just because the heat is gone, doesn’t mean the threat of wildfires is over.

PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. — As the Fourth of July holiday wraps up, fire crews are making the rounds across Pierce County, responding to fires in the area.

Due to the extreme weather, a countywide ban was issued on fireworks and outdoor fires to prevent any blazes from popping up.

Fire authorities say while the temps have cooled, the threat of wildfires is still high, and they hope people don’t let their guard down.

“We actually saw one of our first ones that had the potential to be major on Saturday, right off I-5,” said Bruce Bouyer, assistant chief for the Tacoma Fire Department. “There were some access issues, and it was due to, more than likely, a cigarette or some type of sparking device that caused that grass fire..."

The Tacoma Fire Department says they received a 60% increase in their dispatch call volume on July 4 alone.

Experts say the dry weather seen in Pierce County is a month earlier than expected.

Firefighters say it’s more important than ever that people stay safe and be cautious to avoid a tragic outcome.

“Everything is basically drying out, from the grasses to homes,” Bouyer said. “Anything that is constructed out of wood, they’re drying out, and as things dry out, they tend to catch fire quicker.”

Bouyer went on to say that bonfires and fire pits can also be a problem because embers can land somewhere else, and seeing how dry Pierce County is right now, one spark is all it takes to create a devastating blaze.