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After two record-setting years for Washington wildfires, 2016 is mercifully mild


(Photo: Jaime Sabo)

SPOKANE, Wash. — After two consecutive years in which wildfires set acreage records in Washington state, this fire season has been very light.

In fact, wildfires have been smaller and less destructive in Washington, Oregon and Idaho this year, thanks to a heavy winter snowpack and some rain in the spring and summer months.

Firefighters are cautiously optimistic the fire season might be drawing to an early close as fall approaches.

As of Aug. 31, 432,129 acres had burned this season in the three Northwestern states. At the same date last year, 743,882 acres had burned.

Jessica Gardetto, a spokeswoman for the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, says the fires this year haven’t been as large and there haven’t been as many blazes.