Did you know that there is a burn ban in Benton County? Did you know that includes your fire pit? They are also asking everyone not to do any activities that could cause anything to ignite. If you are traveling, be sure to check out some of the online resources. This includes updated fire maps. We will cover three of those online map resources below.
Air Quality Updates
Also, there is a great site that updates air quality for communities affected by smoke. It coordinates with county, state, federal agencies as well as Indian tribes and volunteers. It has a map with air quality monitors. The Department of Ecology’s ‘Washington’s Air Monitoring Network’ grades air quality into the following categories:
Unhealthy For Sensitive Group
Currently in the Tri-Cities (as of 8/2/2017) our air quality is in the unhealthy status. This is due to the fires from the North. Please stay indoors if possible.
Benton County Fire Daily Burn Restrictions
KEYW reported Tracy Bakers official statement,“Benton County Fire District #1 would like to inform the public of the EXTREME FIRE DANGER we are facing in Benton County. An EXTREME FIRE DANGER level means absolutely NO OUTDOOR BURNING IS PERMITTED in Benton County including recreational/warming fires and tumbleweeds.
We ask the public to limit activities that cause potential sources of ignition such as driving/parking in dry vegetation, dragging metal from vehicle, chainsaw usage and firearm target practice. For questions, contact the Benton County Clean Air Agency office (783-1304) or burn line (783-6198, residential; 783-6570, agricultural). Violations of the Outdoor Burn Ban could result in a substantial fine.” Tracy Baker is the Public Information Officer for Benton County Fire District #1.
Daily updates on burn restrictions are available at 1-800-323-BURN or on the Fire Danger and Outdoor Burning risk map here.
Real Time Fire Outbreaks
Another useful map that is a bit easier to zoom in on is the ArcGIS web map. They have a page called, “Northwest Large Fire Interactive Map”. Their map looks like this and shows hot spots as well as how many acres are affected. It also shows if it is an active fire or if it is contained. You can see an example below.
Northwest Inter-agency Coordination Center
A third resource for information is the Northwest Inter-agency Coordination Center. For example, you can see below how they have detailed information about the incident name, the location, when it started, the cause, what percent it is contained and if residences or other structures are threatened. Also, it tells the lead agency involved and the total number of resources allocated to the incident. It also gives resources who to contact, and if there is a Facebook page dedicated to it, or a website to resource.
As you can see there are many resources to keep up to date on any fires. Don’t be caught off guard. Of course, during these hot summer months, there is always the chance of a fire starting up even after you checked and headed out. I found that happen to me heading over to Ellensburg recently. Everything looked fine when I left, but by the time I got to the Vantage bridge, a fire had started and traffic was stopped. We were stranded until they were able to get it out and safely let vehicles pass.
Here are a few more resources you can check below. Remember, be safe, check before you go, and please help out our local fire departments by doing your part.
Current Northwest Fire Situation – Daily Updates
- Large Fire Information Summary – Detailed description including resources assigned, current conditions, etc.
- Large Fire Map – Displays active large fire incidents within Oregon and Washington.
- Morning Briefing – Updated each morning with latest fire activity and fire weather alerts.
- Daily Situation Report – Daily statistics of fire activity reported by agency and local dispatch offices in the region.
- 7-Day Significant Fire Potential – Large fire potential and weather synopsis for the next seven days within the Northwest.
- National 7-Day Significant Fire Potential – National large fire potential in interactive map format.
- Fuels and Fire Behavior Advisory
Other Fire News
- InciWeb – A national incident information system that delivers fire news from specific incidents throughout the entire country.
- National Fire Report – National Interagency Fire Center’s daily news update.
- State of Oregon – Daily Fire Update from the Oregon Department of Forestry.
- State of Washington – Fire news from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources
- Click Here for information on Emergency Medical Evacuation.
As always, thanks for reading and feel free to comment.
By: Charee Jackson