Fire danger still exists despite rain - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Fire danger still exists despite rain

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Hot and dry temperatures have plagued our region, so this rain is a bit of a change. Hot and dry temperatures have plagued our region, so this rain is a bit of a change.

Hot and dry temperatures have plagued our region, so this rain is a bit of a change. Firefighters say it’s helping out with efforts on Saturday, but the fire danger is still there as it's only helping in the short term.

“In this rain, it seems like it’s a good idea but within a few hours after this stops, everything will be bitter dry again and very, very flammable,” says Mike Ciraulo, incident commander with Washington State Interagency Incident Management Team.

The reason? Our dry winter and spring.

“The soil can’t soak it up quick enough, but the bigger reason is the grasses that start the fires and carry the fuels are already dead. They’ve grown tall during the spring, now they’ve died off and they can’t absorb and retain the moisture that live fuels can.”

Ciraulo says most counties in Washington have some form of a burn ban, but firefighters need cooperation too. 

“The public has to help us because without their help, it’s going to be a devastating season.”

In case of future fires, Ciraulo suggests keeping flammable objects away from your home and mowing down brush and grasses around your home to create a defensible space.

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