2019 Washington wildfires

2019 Washington wildfires
Date(s)March–October 2019
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The 2019 Washington wildfire season officially began in March 2019.

Government preparation

In January 2019, the Washington Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz proposed a $55 million, 10-year plan to combat fires that included greatly expanded budgeting for 30 new full-time and 40 seasonal firefighters, new training academies, new firefighting equipment including aircraft, and a new "rangeland" firefighting plan for the state.[1]


Drought conditions existed in over half of Washington counties in May 2019. Many water basins were at half their median snowpack level, and the state overall was at its fourth lowest level in 30 years according to the Washington State Department of Ecology.[2]

Fires and smoke

There were 24 Western Washington wildfires reported before the spring equinox, including a 18-acre (7.3 ha) blaze near Mount St. Helens that heavily damaged one structure.[3][4]

The 243 Command Fire was the first large fire of the season. It began on June 3 near Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River in Eastern Washington, and by June 5 had grown to 5,000 acres (2,000 ha), causing mandatory evacuations near Beverly, and made Spokane's air quality the worst in the United States.[5]


  1. ^ Joseph O'Sullivan (January 17, 2019). "Washington state wants to add firefighters and training academy to beef up wildfire response". The Seattle Times.
  2. ^ Evan Bush (May 20, 2019). "Low snowpack, hot spring lead to drought declaration for nearly half of Washington state". The Seattle Times. p. A1.
  3. ^ Shelby Miller (March 20, 2019). "Fire season sparks in March, DNR fears bad wildfire year". Seattle: KIRO-TV.
  4. ^ "More than 24 wildfires reported in western Washington this week". Tacoma: KCPQ. March 21, 2019.
  5. ^ "Washington's first major wildfire of 2019 grows to 5,000 acres in Grant County; wind-borne smoke briefly made Spokane's air quality worst in country". The Spokesman-Review. Spokane. June 5, 2019.

External links

This page was last updated at 2019-11-09 04:28, update this pageView original page

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