12/18/2014

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An early start for fire season in Yakima County

An early start for fire season in Yakima County

YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. -- The Department of Natural Resources marks next Tuesday as the official start of wildfire season. However, Yakima County got an early jump Tuesday with fires popping up from Wapato to Mabton.

 Flicka Arquette got her first scare of the fire season, when a controlled burn nearby quickly grew out of control, threatening her home.

 "It's really scary, because you realize how the fire can jump, I mean fire can jump a long ways and our houses are here, ours and our neighbor," said Arquette.

 What started as a controlled burn quickly grew out of control and spread about 30 acres on her and her neighbor's fields. Her neighbor's shed caught on fire, and some cars burned. Luckily, no one was injured and their houses were safe.

 "I was really worried for my neighbor, but I got her and her dogs out, and I didn't really feel too concerned about our place cause we have, we're further away," said Arquette. "But, it's really scary, it's hot and you know there's no control."

 The Department of Natural Resources reminds people to be cautious during this fire season, which starts on the 15th and runs until October.

 Fire crews say starting a controlled burn in a ditch can often lead to an out of control brush fire, especially with windy conditions.

 Last year DNR reported that 764 fires burned more than 126 thousand acres. 70 percent of those were caused by people. DNR has already reported 20 forest fires on their land this year. Stricter rules in dry weather will hopefully keep the flames down this fire season, which crews are already gearing up for.

 "That heat is so intense and those flames were just going like 30 to 40 feet high," said Arquette.

 Click here for a link to DNR's website for a complete list of restrictions for this fire season. It officially runs from April 15th to October 15th.

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