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Fire danger in Washington state rises as thousands head outdoors for Labor Day weekend

The holiday weekend's hot and dry weather, along with people starting campfires and barbecues, will raise the state's wildfire risk.

State forest managers are urging people to be careful with fires as they fan out across Washington state for a hot, dry Labor Day weekend.

“The risk that is out there because of human-caused fires is up tremendously,” said Washington State Forester George Geissler.

He said people who are new to the outdoors during the coronavirus pandemic need to be especially cautious, and everyone should take note of burn bans.

“We know there's going to be more people traveling, more people out in the forested areas, and people that are potentially having fun and not always focusing on how you prevent the fire,” he said. “So we just want people to be very aware.”

Firefighters are already busy trying to extinguish the more than 52,000 acre Evans Canyon fire, which is threatening hundreds of homes northwest of Yakima. It's the state's biggest fire this year and is an example of how one lick of a flame can ignite a huge swath of land in just hours.

RELATED: Wildfire near Yakima grows to 52,000 acres, threatens 900 homes

Wildfire smoke is also heading our way. The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency says smoke from California will stain the sky on Friday and Saturday.

Fortunately, it's expected to stay at a high altitude.

“We don't think there will be much of an impact on the ground,” said Phil Swartzendruber, air resources specialist with the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. “It should be very visible in the sky, the sky should look a little hazy. The sunset will look hazy. The sun might even look a little hazy.”

RELATED: Smoke from California wildfires creates hazy skies over Washington

RELATED: Dry conditions spark concerns about wildfire danger in Washington state