Firefighters are reminding the public about the growing threat of wildfires as hot and dry conditions continue across the state.
“We cannot overstate the vulnerable nature of the fuels right now. The state has become a tinderbox,” Central Pierce Fire and Rescue said in a Facebook post. "Please be extremely careful."
Every county in Washington is under a high or very high risk for wildfires, according to the Washington State Department of Natural Resources.
King, Pierce, Kitsap, Mason, and Thurston counties in Western Washington are under a very high/extreme risk of wildfires. They are among the 21 counties with the highest wildfire danger in the state. All other Western Washington counties are under a high risk of fires.
In Eastern Washington, only four counties are under a high wildfire danger risk.
Okanogan, Chelan, Douglas, Kittitas, Grant, Yakima, Klickitat, Benton, Franklin, Adams, Walla Walla, Columbia, Garfield, Asotin and Whitman counties in Eastern Washington are under a very high/extreme wildfire risk.
Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency in the entire state due to the wildfire threats. The move allows for assistance from the Washington National Guard, which has already been requested by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
There are active burn bans across the state. Be sure to check if your county is under a burn ban and if there are any exceptions before lighting any fires.
The Washington State Patrol is also reminding drivers that tossing a cigarette from your vehicle could bring you a $1,025 fine. If the cigarette sparked a fire, those fire-fighting costs and damages could also be passed along.