SPOKANE, Wash. - With this stretch of hot temperatures, Washington's Department of Natural Resources is keeping a close watch on the fire danger. Crews now say they plan to change the fire danger from moderate to high starting Thursday at midnight.
Spokesman for the Department of Natural Resources Guy Gifford said much of the grasses in the area are still green, which means the grasses are still growing. It's when the hot temperatures continue - as they have this week - that the grasses will stop growing and dry out. The brown grasses burn a lot faster and that is what creates the higher fire dangers.
"As we look into what our future holds for us, our fuels are drying," Gifford said. "We're getting a lot more brown fuels out there, which is several weeks later than normal. Typically, we're in high fire danger before the 4th of July. But because of the wet, cool June we've had, it stayed green."
Overall, the DNR considers several scientific factors when considering fire danger including predicted weather, the moisture, and how quickly fires are spreading, among other factors.
When fire danger changes to "High" make sure the trees and vegetation around your home is trimmed or cut down thin. Also make sure to clean up pine needles on the roof of your home as well as your yard. Finally, if you're going camping, check to make sure you know the rules and are in fact allowed to burn a camp fire.
CHECK FIRE DANGER RATING HERE:: http://dnr.wa.gov/topic/forestfire/restrictions.asp