The Washington State Department of Natural resources added new burn restrictions, citing an increasing fire danger and an increase in fires caused by people burning debris.
“Warming temperatures have dried grasses, and grassy areas are more receptive to even a single spark, which can cause a wildfire,” the DNR said in a press release.
According to the DNR, 171 wildfires have been reported in the Northeast Region, which includes Okanogan County, 117 of which have occurred since April 1.
“Most have been caused by people burning debris outside,” the DNR stated.
The restrictions exclude campfires, permit burning and rule burns in the foothills, highlands and upper basin in Spokane and portions of Lincoln County north of Highway 2.
As of April 22, fire danger is still classified as low in the Methow Valley.