Official: Busy wildfire season will be impacted by pandemic

Official: Busy wildfire season will be impacted by pandemic

May 15, 2020
Q13 Fox

Washington state has already had a busy wildfire season, and that’s before the full effects of summer heat and the coronavirus pandemic kick in.

Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz said Thursday that the pandemic will require special precautions to keep firefighters and support crews safe.

Franz said already this year there have been 263 wildfires reported in Washington, the majority caused by humans. That compares to a 10-year average of 103 fires by this time.

“People are staying at home,″ Franz said. "They have time to work on their yards. Unfortunately, they are starting them on fire in burn piles in unprecedented numbers."

The potential for wildfires is especially high in eastern Washington this year, where the weather is expected to be warmer and drier than usual, Franz said. Normal fire conditions are expected in western Washington.

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