If you're camping in the mountains this Labor Day weekend the Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz is asking that you be careful and do everything you can to prevent a wildfire. Campfire bans are in place in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest but Franz says many people are ignoring the ban. That's not good news because she says the forest is dry and the fire season isn't over. "Over the 2020 Labor Day weekend, more than 500,000 acres of land burned in just 36 hours,” says Franz. “We’ve seen firsthand that a single spark, in the right conditions, can make or break an entire fire season. Let’s all make sure we’re not that spark this holiday weekend.”

A lot of fires have burned but the number is the lowest in decades

Franz says so far there have been 445 DNR fires across Washington this season. She says that's the lowest number of ignitions in the last decade - burning about 40,000 acres. But Franz says the forest is primed for a wildfire with hot and dry conditions projected east of the Cascades and parts of the western side of the state through the Labor Day weekend. A press release from the Department of Natural Resources says many of the Fire Danger Rating areas throughout central Washington are at a High or Very High rating. Most of western Washington is now rated High with the northwest corner rated Moderate. You can track those ratings here.

So far so good but state officials are worried about the weekend

“Thanks to a wet spring, and the hard work of our firefighters and aviation crews, we’ve largely been fortunate so far this fire season,” says Franz. “But we’re not out of the woods yet. Washingtonians must continue to be vigilant and responsible.”

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