Firefighters have responded to 891 wildfires that have burned 113,000 acres so far this year, the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said in a July 31 blog post.
The number of wildfires the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) responded to has nearly doubled since the beginning of July.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency on Tuesday due to the wildfire threats. The move allows the Washington National Guard to assist firefighters battling fires across the state.
The DNR responded to 853 wildfires that burned 404,223 acres and cost Washington taxpayers more than $134 million in 2017.
Firefighters have been able to keep 94 percent of this year’s wildfires below 10 acres in size, Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz said.
Containment numbers began improving after crews started using aircraft to help douse the fires while they’re still small, giving firefighters on the ground a better chance of containing them.
More wildfires start on weekends and holiday afternoons, according to the DNR. Leaving campfires unattended, illegal fireworks, not disposing of cigarettes correctly, and dragging tow chains behind vehicles increases the risk of wildfires.
Anyone that causes a wildfire can be held responsible for the costs of fighting the fire.
If you spot a wildfire, please call 911 immediately.