Chelan Co. Fire Chief Says Cool, Wet Spring May Come With a Hidden Cost
After the one of the coolest and wettest springs in Washington’s history, the state’s weather is rapidly warming up and the landscape is drying out.
Chelan County Fire District No. 1 Chief, Brian Brett, says the favorable springtime conditions potentially came with a hidden cost.
“The consequence of this nice wet spring is our fuels have likely doubled in height,” explained Brett. “So our fear is the cheat grass is going to spread like ‘grassoline’ when it burns. And because it’s so much longer, the ember cast is going to cause us tremendous problems.”
Most of the hills surrounding the Wenatchee Valley are still green, but Brett says that’s expected to change very soon.
“We’re just drying out right now as we look around out foothills. If this weather trend continues with this warming, we expect to be thoroughly dried out (by) after the 4th of July. It’s been nice having a slow start to wildland season but we’re going to have a fierce, hopefully short summer.”
Wildland fire season in Washington runs through September.