Largest Fire In National Forest So Far In Season – Just 6 Acres
Wildfire season is heading into August without any widespread fires in the Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest.
There've been about 70 fires so far, but the largest has only been 6 acres.
Forest Service spokesperson Robin DeMario says they've had success against natural and human caused fires.
"We're really glad that our initial attack resources have been very effective in putting out the fires that have been ignited by lightning, and also those human caused fires," said De Mario.
Two fires that burned together late in last year's season ended up burning more than 11,000 acres north of Plain. They were the White River and Irving Peak fires which joined together and were known as the White River Fire, which was active until snowfall came at the end of October.
In addition, the Minnow Ridge Fire 15 miles northwest of Plain burned 5,300 acres and was active until early November.
This season, there have been only two fires that have reached 6-acre in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest - the Airplane Lake Fire in the Glacier Peak Wilderness roughly 35 miles Northwest of Leavenworth, and the Windy Gap Fire located 11 miles West Southwest of Naches.
Still, DeMario says their firefighting abilities are limited because of external events.
"Think about our firefighting resources that are being sent out of region, and even to Canada to assist with firefighting efforts in those places," DeMario said.
She says crews that are still in the National Forest are busy with lightning caused fires and are further stressed when dealing with human caused fires.
They’re urging people to comply with campfire restrictions and make sure campfires are completely extinguished in those areas where they are still allowed.
Forest Service personnel are also asking drivers to make sure tow chains are not dragging on the ground creating sparks, and to avoid parking in dry vegetation, where hot exhaust systems could ignite vegetation.
In addition, smokers are reminded to discard cigarette butts in proper receptacles.