Wildfires prompt Gov. Inslee to declare state of emergency

Wildfires prompt Gov. Inslee to declare state of emergency

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has signed an emergency proclamation for all 39 counties in the state, to ensure the immediate response of firefighting resources.

As of Tuesday, July 31, Washington’s Dept. of Natural Resources has responded to 891 fires so far in 2018, which have burned a combined 113,000 acres. For context, the DNR says crews responded to 853 fires in all of 2017.

“Catastrophic fires are burning up and down the West Coast, putting a strain on our firefighting resources,” Inslee said. “This proclamation ensures resources are ready to go at a moment’s notice to help protect our communities from another unprecedented fire season.”

The goal is to help protect people, homes, businesses, and property from the high threat of wildfire due to dangerous fire fuel and weather conditions throughout the state. According to the DNR, quick air attacks and strategic positioning of equipment in high-risk areas have allowed firefighters to keep 94% of this year’s fires under 10 acres.

The proclamation allows for more assistance from the Washington National Guard, which routinely trains and certifies soldiers and airmen to fight wildfires.

To prevent wildfires, DNR recommends that the public refrain from using fireworks, starting campfires in prohibited areas, parking vehicles on grass and throwing cigarettes out of car windows. Residents can also ensure that brush and woody debris are removed from the perimeter of their homes.

More wildfire prevention tips here.