Flames attack the hillside in Bonney Lake on Sept. 8, 2020. (East Pierce Fire & Rescue photo)

Flames attack the hillside in Bonney Lake on Sept. 8, 2020. (East Pierce Fire & Rescue photo)

WA firefighters brace for potentially busy weekend

Washington state Department of Natural Resources firefighters were preparing for what could have been a busy Memorial Day weekend after a record number of wildfires torched the state in April. However, as of June 1, there had been minimal fires started across the state.

Despite that, the department is remaining vigilant with warm weather on the way. The coming weeks are expected to be warmer and drier than normal, and the state is already well into fire season, said DNR Commissioner Hilary Franz.

“When spending time outdoors this holiday weekend, be aware of your surroundings and avoid activities that could be potential fire hazards as temperatures continue to get warmer,” Franz said in a press release.

There were 225 wildfires that the state Department of Natural Resources responded to in April, an all-time high. The department has only responded to an average of 54 wildfires during the month of April over the last decade. Most of these were caused by people burning debris piles from yard waste.

Drought continues to be the driving factor for heightened wildfire concerns around the state. From January to April, this year is in the top 10% driest years on record since 1894 for Central and Eastern Washington. The outlook is drier and warmer than normal for the months of June through August.

In total this year, the Department of Natural Resources has already experienced more than 380 fires, much higher than the 10-year average of 133 at this point in the year.

To help prevent fires, the state recommends dousing campfires with water before leaving them — if it’s still warm to the touch, it’s not safe to leave. Burn piles should never be left unattended, and a hose should be ready in case the fire escapes the boundaries. Chains shouldn’t drag on the pavement, and target shooting into dry grass isn’t a good idea.




Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@rentonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.rentonreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Police vehicle damaged after collision (Photo Credit: Renton Police Department)
Renton Police still looking to arrest suspect after officer involved hit and run

RPD spokesperson said suspect fled on foot after causing officer’s injury.

King County logo
Auditors find racial disparities in King County contracts

BIPOC-owned businesses earn contract bids at a much lower rate than white-owned businesses.

Police lights
Renton man with stab wound found in Federal Way

The man had been stabbed during an altercation earlier in the day and had received medical treatment for his injuries.

T
Auburn police officer’s murder trial expected to be scheduled soon

Jeffrey Nelson is one of the first cops charged under new I-940 guidelines.

Graphic rendering of ADU design used for Renton’s Permit Ready Accessory Dwelling Unit program (courtesy of City of Renton)
Backyard cottages might offer a partial solution to King County’s housing problem

Some cities are embracing the solution better than others.

Photos by Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
King County Council approves $631 million emergency COVID budget

Staff reports The King County Council approved a seventh round of emergency… Continue reading

Some of the artists to be featured at the May 29th BLM Artwalk (photo credit: Christain Jones)
Renton to host Black Lives Matter Artwalk this weekend

This Saturday’s event will feature a collection of visual and performing artists of color.

Flames attack the hillside in Bonney Lake on Sept. 8, 2020. (East Pierce Fire & Rescue photo)
WA firefighters brace for potentially busy weekend

Washington state Department of Natural Resources firefighters were preparing for what could… Continue reading

Sanjeev Yonzon (courtesy of Sanjeev Yonzon's campaign)
Sanjeev Yonzon to run for Renton City Council

Editor’s note: This is a press release from the candidate’s campaign.

Interpretive guide Shell Michaluk-Bergan stands on boardwalk to Bird Island (photo credit: Cameron Sheppard)
Exploring Renton’s hidden natural gems

Interpretive guides with Coast and Forest aim to promote appreciation of natural habitat in the area

Marvin Rosete courtesy of Marvin Rosete
Marvin Rosete seeks Renton City Council seat, position 2

Editor’s note: This is a press release from the candidate’s campaign.

Photos of Kaloni Bolton. (Courtesy of Kristina Williams)
She couldn’t breathe: Child dies from asthma attack at Renton medical clinic

Family of Kaloni Bolton, 12, seeks answers as to why staff couldn’t treat her.