The National Weather Service has issued a new fire watch warning for this weekend, as a thunderstorm is expected to come in off the coast and move eastward through the Cascades.
The Fire Weather Warning extends from the morning of Saturday, Aug. 18, until Sunday morning, Aug. 19. A heat advisory also was issued, in effect until 9 p.m. Friday.
Bellevue could see temperatures cool down to the mid-80s from the mid-90s by Saturday, and temperatures could be back in the mid-70s by next week, according to the National Weather Service.
Meanwhile, Washington Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark has asked for the public's help in a statement released this morning:
“The next three days are going to be very dangerous in terms of the potential for wildfire. That is true in Western Washington as well as Eastern Washington. It is everyone’s responsibility to be safe and not take any risks,” Goldmark said in the release. “As the Taylor Bridge Fire demonstrates, the risk and consequences of catastrophic wildfire is extreme. We have hundreds of firefighters fighting two major wildfires in Washington and resources are stretched thin by fires across the West. Now is the time to be ever-vigilant.”
For an update on the status of the Taylor Bridge fire, please visit the InciWeb site, which brings together information from various fire departments and was updated around 10:30 a.m. Aug. 17.
The statement reminds the public that there is a burn ban in effect on all Department of Natural Resources lands in Washington through Sept. 30, including all forestlands in Washington, except federal lands. Campers should check with their campground host for specific campground rules before starting a campfire.
The release offers the following additional information:
Fire safety information
• Never leave a campfire unattended, and be sure it is completely out before leaving the area.
• Be sure recreational vehicles have operating spark arresters.
• Do not park any vehicles in dry, grassy areas as the heat from exhaust systems can ignite the dry grass.
• It is illegal to discharge fireworks on DNR-protected and public lands.
For tips on protecting your home and family from wildfire, visit www.firewise.org