[7/31/18] Governor Declares State of Emergency
Governor Jay Inslee today declared a State of Emergency, which allows National Guard resources to deploy to wildfires.
“The efforts of our firefighters have been nothing short of heroic, but the sheer number and geographic range of wildfires have stretched our resources thin,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. “Our state is at a very high-risk for even more wildfires, and we need additional resources to keep our communities safe.”
Tomorrow morning, two National Guard Blackhawk helicopters will stage at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane and prepare for initial attack on wildfires. The National Guard is also deploying five 20-person crews in northeast Washington on existing wildfires.
Fire season is stretching state resources thin. To date, the Department of Natural Resources – the state’s largest firefighting force – has responded to 891 fires that have burned 113,000 acres. For context, DNR responded to 853 fires in all of 2017. Wildfires are starting on both sides of the Cascades, with nearly 300 fires in western Washington.