Despite the cold and wet start to summer, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is warning that hot, dry weather and the threat of thunderstorms have brought on Washington’s fire season. In 2011, 90 percent of fires were human-caused. Much of Eastern Washington is experiencing similar weather conditions and is under a Red Flag Warning. Abundant lightning is expected late this afternoon in both Western and Eastern Washington, continuing through Monday evening. Increased lighting activity mixed with dry fuels can lead to multiple catastrophic wildfires. DNR fire crews are prepared to respond to reported fires. Helicopters are available and engine crews have been pre-positioned for quick response. DNR’s goal is to keep fires under ten acres, which greatly reduces the risk and cost of a large uncontrolled fire.

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