SPOKANE, Wash. --- Saturday marks the official start to wildfire season, according to state law.
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources sent out a press release Friday, warning people of the official date.
“All this snow and rain may delay our fire season, but our forests always face the threat of wildfire,” Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz is quoted as saying in the release. “We’re going to do everything we can to be ready for fire season, and I encourage all our neighbors to do the same.
Last year, more than 16,4000 acres of DNR-protected lands were hit with 807 wildfires. The DNR said of those fires, 90 percent of them were caused by humans.
Officials asked residents to follow the “summer fire rules” that are in effect from April 15 to Oct. 15.
“During fire season, people using motorized equipment in the woods must have approved spark arresters and follow fire safety precautions” DNR officials said in a release. “In addition, those working in the woods must have fire prevention and extinguishing equipment in good working order at the job site and workers trained in proper use.”
Those rules apply to private and state forestlands protected from wildfire by DNR, officials said in a release.