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Washington governor declares wildfire state of emergency

Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed an emergency proclamation Tuesday for all 39 counties for the threat of wildfire.
The Milepost 90 Fire from Goldendale. Photo: Washington Fire Marshal

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has declared a state of emergency in the entire state due to wildfire threats.

Inslee signed the proclamation Tuesday as dry hot conditions continue and several fires burn in the state. The proclamation notes that there have been "abnormally dry conditions" throughout July and above-average temperatures, causing "a high risk of severe wildfire outbreaks requiring an immediate response."

The move allows for assistance from the Washington National Guard, which has already been requested by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Among the requests are the use of aviation assets and crews to be sent to the eastern part of the state.

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The DNR has responded to 891 wildfires that have burned 113,000 acres so far this year. The DNR responded to 853 wildfires in all of 2017.

"Catastrophic fires are burning up and down the West Coast, putting a strain on our firefighting resources," Inslee said. "This proclamation ensures resources are ready to go at a moment’s notice to help protect our communities from another unprecedented fire season."

More than 75 percent of wildfires in Washington are caused by humans, according to the DNR.

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