Fire outlook not good for rest of season

Fire outlook not good for rest of season

SPOKANE, Wash. - If you were hoping for good news on the rest of our wildfire season we have some bad news. The latest report from the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise shows August and September should be above normal for fire activity.

Firefighters are very concerned as resources across the country are stretched thin already and fire officials are asking you to be cautious as you head to the back country.

"We got hit pretty hard when we got started off and we really haven't slowed down much since then," wildfire expert Dennis Strange said. "Right now they are calling for extended dry periods it's above average temperatures and below normal precipitation."

The latest fire outlook released by NIFC shows the potential for significant wildland fire in Washington as being above normal for the next two months as the "climate outlooks suggest August through November is likely to be warmer and drier than usual for the majority of the area."

"They are predictions and so we will have to wait and see what actually comes with that information and we are going to prepare the best we can to be ready for the next onset," Strange said.

Since July first more than 350,000 acres have burned in Washington state with the pricetag nearing $100 Million.

"The outlook, future prediction within the remainder of August and September and possibly even October is very concerning," Spokane Assistant Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said.

Local fire departments have been busy as well; the Spokane Fire Department has seen calls increase between five and 10 percent and now they're asking you to use caution to keep their workload down.

"Just be extremely careful with fire and report those signs of smoke or those concerns right away. Don't wait," Schaeffer said.

Wildfire experts say other parts of the country are seeing an up tick in their fire season as well meaning firefighting resources are being stretched even thinner.