Breaking News
More () »

Rain doesn't mark the end of western Washington's fire season, officials say

It comes after dozens of lightning-caused fires last week. Fire officials say while rain may help in some cases, fire season is still in full swing.

WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — The Washington Department of Natural Resources said the Lake Whatcom Fire had burned around 30 acres so far on steep slopes of the south side of Lake Whatcom above Blue Canyon Road. As of Tuesday, Level 2 evacuation notices were in place for people on Blue Canyon Road.

"Firefighter safety is a real concern and structures and neighbors that are on Blue Canyon Road are also a concern," said Chris Hankey, serving as a public information fire for WADNR for the fire. "The goal is to keep the fire away from the structures, burning upslope."

The Whatcom County Sheriff's Office noted Tuesday that Blue Canyon Road is closed at South Bay Drive and Park Road. People are asked not to drive past the road closed signs and not to fly drones in the area. 

It said the WCSO Marine Unit cleared the lake of boat traffic for scoop planes to safely pick up water to fight the fire. WCSO says the City of Bellingham's Parks Department was also closing Lake Whatcom boat launches.

Hankey reminds residents that even though this fire was likely naturally caused, caution is necessary to preserve resources and protect crews.

"Even though this little bit of rain, little bit of moisture that's come in is helping, we still have a lot of fire season left," Hankey said. "Things are still very dry- we've had a very, very dry summer- and we really want our residents to know that while this was a naturally caused fire, we don't need fires started by careless activities on our landscape, so please be cautious until we get those real fall rains in."

Hankey says this week's rainfall should not be considered a "season-ending event" and it's important for people to be vigilant in the month of September.

Before You Leave, Check This Out