How this season's wildfires could be affected by last winter - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

How this season's wildfires could be affected by last winter

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NACHES, WA - With rising temperatures, the potential for devastating wildfires sparking is also going to go up. But will our long and wet winter offset some of the dangers?

The wildfire season in Washington does vary, but Washington Department of Natural Resources says they've already seen an elongated wildfire season.

Historically, July, August, and into the beginning part of September is when there's the greatest danger for wildfires. But firefighters have been responding consistently to wildfires all month long already, and that could go all the way until Halloween.

DNR officials say many areas have seen above 100 percent moisture on average, but all the snow in the winter and the rain we've seen so far this spring is a double-edged sword.

"I don't really hang my hat on that because the drought has kept a lot of our vegetation really stunted," said Aaron Schimidt, Washington's Fire Operations Assistant Division Manager. "So now we're seeing areas that haven't had much growth that are really lush and green. Although that's terrific right now, in August that will be a pretty different situation."

Since the weather has been so nice lately, if you plan on going camping or barbecuing outside, make sure you put out the fires completely. Schmidt says as much as 90 percent of the wildfires sparked in the state are caused by humans.

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