Fire season begins in Washington - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Fire season begins in Washington

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YAKIMA, Wash -- This week marks the official beginning of the wild fire season in Washington, and fire experts say it could be a busy summer for fire fighters because of an early snow melt.

Although Washington saw an above normal snow pack this winter, its melting sooner than usual -- and could lead to a dry May and June. Forecasters believe the Yakima Valley could see wild fires cropping up as soon as late May. 

Randy Shepard, of the Naches Ranger Station, says outdoorsmen need to be extra careful this spring with campfires and also with machines like chainsaws and four wheelers.  

"Make sure they have spark protectors in good operating conditions so that they don't backfire or send spark out to the ground."  

According to state officials, there are more communities in Washington that are better prepared for wild fires because of planning and access to equipment.