Dry Winter Could Affect Upcoming Wildfire Season - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Dry Winter Could Affect Upcoming Wildfire Season

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There's still time left for the weather to change to bring more precipitation. There's still time left for the weather to change to bring more precipitation.
BENTON COUNTY, WA- It has been unusually warm and dry this winter and that could affect this year's fire season.

It is only February, but firefighters are already paying close attention.

The Benton County Fire District said they closely monitor precipitation and vegetation growth throughout the year, especially in the early months of the year.

Lack of rain and snow means things are not growing as much, meaning fewer things to burn, but with the lack of moisture, that could make things burn more easily.

Captain Devin Helland said this season could go either way, but that there is still plenty of time for things to change with the weather.

"On one hand you have fuels that are drier than normal, which can start a fire a lot easier.  On the other hand, it didn't grow during the wintertime because it didn't have any water or snow to help it grow.  It's kind of a catch 22 depending on which side you look at," said Capt. Helland.

With the dryness, there is less vegetation right now and it is something the fire department will keep their eyes on. 

The season is trending to stay dry, but it just all depends on what happens in the next weeks and months. 

The department said either way it goes, they will be prepared for this year's fire season.

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