Fire experts predict average season in Wash. state

Fire experts predict average season in Wash. state
Photo of Malaga fire courtesy of Anji Marth.
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A wildfire that broke out near Malaga in central Washington last week is not necessarily a harbinger that Washington will have a major fire season.

Janet Pearce of the Washington Department of Natural resources says predictions are for an average fire season here.

The Malaga fire burned 2 square miles of brush.

The state does not do its own wildfire forecast. Instead, it uses the predictions produced by the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho. In its forecast for the Northwest, the NIFC said the greatest early fire danger appeared to be in south central Washington in July and August.

Wildfire season actually began on April 15, and the DNR had already battled 20 small fires this year on state lands.

Last year, a total of 764 fires burned approximately 126,219 acres of DNR-protected lands.