Officials warn of dangerously dry conditions that could lead to more fires

SEATTLE -- Friday tied the record for the length of dry fuel conditions in Western Washington, state Department of Natural Resources officials say, and there is a growing concern for those conditions leading to fires.

Officials say trees, brush, and other vegetation are extremely flammable right now.

Scott Baker, with Tree Solutions Inc., says over the last five years he’s noticed conditions getting drier.

“Dry fuel conditions are very concerning for Western Washington. For quite a few years, I’ve been very concerned we’re going to see a wildfire in our urban suburbs in Seattle.”

Baker says people don’t even think about fires in our city areas, but if a fire got started it could grow rapidly here.

“This time of year, you’re hearing every day about brush fires,” said Capt. Kyle Ohaashi with the Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority.

He says there are ways you can reduce risk of fires.

“One of the biggest causes of those fires in this area are discarded smoking materials,” he said.

He says if people realized there is a burn ban and cut back on recreational fires and barbecues that will go a long way to helping prevent fires.

Ohashi also says to make sure your lawn is not too dry, and that there are not piles of dry leaves or branches nearby.