Inslee declares state of emergency for statewide wildfires

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OLYMPIA, Wash. — Governor Jay Inslee has declared a state of emergency in response to multiple wildfires burning across Washington.

“Wildfires are threatening the safety and livelihoods of Washingtonians all across the state,” Inslee said. “And the COVID-19 pandemic has put additional strain on our resources, as some of our usual support is further limited due to international movement restrictions.”

Inslee’s proclamation ensures immediate response to the fires burning in Central and Eastern Washington, as well as the Olympic Peninsula.

According to Inslee’s office, resources have been spread thin due to commitments to pre-existing and projected fire activity, and the current emergency is intensifying due to extreme high temperatures, dry weather and the increase of visitors to wilderness areas.

The proclamation activates that National Guard statewide in response to a request from the state Department of Natural Resources to help protect homes, public facilities and utilities, businesses, agriculture and natural resources.

“Due to hot, dry conditions and lighting storms, we have fires burning across Washington and existing firefighting resources are at capacity,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. “We are so grateful to our partners at the National Guard who are answering the call and joining us on the fire lines. We train with them prior to wildfire season and know the skill and abilities they bring to the wildfire emergency facing so many communities right now.”

The order remains in effect through September 30.

RELATED: Level 3 evacuations issued for Palmer Fire burning near Wannacut Lake

READ: DNR issues statewide burn ban following weekend of wildfires