State experiencing heat and fires

Firefighters on July 4 prepare to fly on a helicopter into the Prince Creek drainage where the Pioneer Fire is burning. (Chelan County Emergency Management)

The National Weather Service (NWS) is forecasting temperatures in the high 90s on the western edge of the Cascades and around the Puget Sound region in the days ahead. The weather in Darrington could hit 102 degrees on Tuesday, according to NWS. In Eastern Washington, it’s even hotter. Spokane could see highs of 105 or 106 on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Hot weather means elevated fire danger. And the state is already seeing some blazes. The Pioneer Fire on the east side of Lake Chelan has burned about 7,200 acres and is 14% contained. Chelan County Emergency Management on Saturday morning extended a Level 3, “get out now” evacuation warning due to that fire from Prince Creek down the lake to Safety Harbor.

Meanwhile, the Thorp Road Fire in Yakima County prompted a (now lowered) evacuation warning in an area around the town of Moxee. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources said Friday that the Balsam Root Fire burning near Wenatchee had grown to 250 acres. The Wenatchee World reported Friday that the fire was about 50% contained and that local police had arrested a boy suspected of starting the fire with fireworks. You can find overviews of fires burning in Washington here and here.

Information on how smoke is affecting air quality can be found here.

— Washington State Standard

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