Burn bans enacted as fire danger increases

MARYSVILLE, Wash. – As the temperatures continue to rise, so does the danger of wildfires across our state.

Several North Sound counties have enacted burn bans because of the fire risk.

The bans on burning doesn’t include things like camp fires or fire pits -- as long as is water nearby and people don’t leave the fire unattended.

But some fire officials said just because you can doesn’t mean you should, because the fire danger is only growing.

“This is really what a lot of people’s yards look like right now,” Marysville Fire District spokesperson Christie Veley said, as she pointed at dry grass.

The dry patches are really coming in for most of our yards – the beating sun and low humidity are quickly sapping moisture out of the plants around our homes.

“I think we all need to be on high alert right now and understand that the fire danger is high,” she said.

The proof was seen in the flames when Fourth of July fireworks were to blame for torched trees in Puyallup.

That’s why fire officials are asking folks to create a buffer of space between plants and your home – and keep your grass short.

“When you mow your lawn, pick up the clippings,” Veley added. “When you have clippings like that and you leave them on the ground you’re not reducing your fuel.”

Q13 News This Morning’s meteorologist M.J. McDermott said our area is already in a dry spell and there isn't much relief on the way.

“We haven’t had rain since mid-June and the long range forecast is for below normal precipitation and for July that means nothing,” she said.

Since the beginning of July, more than half a dozen Western Washington counties have either closed the burning season or enacted bans because of increasing fire danger.

Firefighters said even if burning is done responsibly winds can help carry embers for long distances.

“Once the grass starts getting dry you basically have a field of matchsticks that can just go up,” said Veley.

The Washington State’s Department of Natural Resources imposed on Friday a burn ban inside the lands it manages.

If you’re not sure about the rules in your area, call your local fire department.