‘This is just the beginning’: Drought conditions persist for much of Washington

SEATTLE -- More than 70 percent of Washington state is experiencing varying degrees of drought conditions, and with no rain in the forecast, the Q13 weather team says this is "just the beginning."

"This is an El Niño year, so we knew all along that conditions would be drier and warmer than normal," Meteorologist Tim Joyce explains.

So far in June, the Puget Sound region has picked up .11 inches of rain. The average for the whole month is 1.57 inches, and we also experienced an abnormally dry and warm May.

The Puget Sound region is in a state of moderate drought, while coastal Washington is in a severe drought.

"These conditions will persist because we don’t typically get more than an inch or so of rain into July and August. It takes about an inch of rain per week to feed an average lawn. This is just the beginning of a very long and dry fire season," Tim says. 

This is alarming for firefighters as they're seeing an already busy wildfire season.

Here are some things you can do to help prevent wildfires:

  • Only build campfires when and where they are authorized. Always put them out completely.
  • Make sure all off-road vehicles have a working exhaust control or a catalytic converter.
  • Dispose of cigarette butts and other lit smoking materials properly.
  • Do not discharge fireworks or use incendiary ammunition on public lands. It's illegal to do so.
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