High fire danger in Eastern Washington; state of emergency proclamation in place

High fire danger in Eastern Washington; state of emergency proclamation in place »Play Video
If needed eight counties will receive federal and state help right away.
CLARKSTON, WA - Multiple fires are burning around Eastern Washington as well. Six of them started on Tuesday.

The dry air, strong winds and hot temperatures are to blame. That's why Washington State leaders declared a state of emergency for 20 counties in Eastern Washington. That includes Asotin, Columbia, Garfield, and Whitman Counties.

Asotin County Fire Chief Noel Hardin said the entire area is in extreme fire danger right now. With the afternoon winds we've been having, a small spark from a lawn mower has the potential to ignite a field in seconds. He said the state of emergency is important to have during times like this.

"What this does is puts a proclamation in place that allows us to get federal and state help right away if we get hit with a lot of lightning storms or large fires break out," said Hardin.

Agencies like the National Guard and State Guard will be able to respond to our area immediately if we need them.

The National Weather Service posted red flag warnings for much of Eastern Washington from Wednesday afternoon through Friday. Also, the Department of Natural Resources has banned outdoor fires on state-protected lands.