COVID-19 could be to blame for unprecedented increase in wildfire starts in Washington

  • Source: Salem Statesman-Journal - Metered Site
  • Published: 06/29/2020 12:00 AM

The number of wildfires burning across Washington has risen steadily over the past two years, but the 2020 core fire season is looking to pull way ahead in wildfire starts. And this year’s unprecedented uptick in the number of fires has an unforeseen culprit: people cleaning their yards during the pandemic. Washington fire and land managers say they’ve seen a significant number of wildfires in “every corner of the state.” So far this year, the state Department of Natural Resources said it has responded to more than 468 wildfires of varying sizes — nearly double the 10-year average for an entire fire season. More than two-thirds have burned east of the Cascades. Most happened after people burned yard debris, Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz said.


We welcome comments from registered users. Comments are solely the responsibility of those who post them; their viewpoints are not endorsed by the Daily Dispatch and (read more)
ship name
no comments have been added

Sign up to subscribe to custom state Daily Dispatch emails for free

click to subscribe