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Inslee declares state of emergency for statewide wildfires

August 19, 2020

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Gov. Jay Inslee issued a statewide emergency proclamation today to ensure immediate response to multiple wildfires in Central and Eastern Washington, as well as the Olympic Peninsula. 

"Wildfires are threatening the safety and livelihoods of Washingtonians all across the state," Inslee said. "And the COVID-19 pandemic has put additional strain on our resources, as some of our usual support is further limited due to international movement restrictions."

Firefighting resources throughout the state have been spread thin due to commitments to pre-existing and projected fire activity, and this current emergency is compounded by extreme high temperatures and dry weather, as well as the increase of visitors to Washington wilderness areas. 

The proclamation authorizes the activation of the Washington National Guard statewide in response to a request from the state Department of Natural Resources to help protect homes, public facilities and utilities, businesses, agriculture and natural resources. 

“Due to hot, dry conditions and lighting storms, we have fires burning across Washington and existing firefighting resources are at capacity," said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. "We are so grateful to our partners at the National Guard who are answering the call and joining us on the fire lines. We train with them prior to wildfire season and know the skill and abilities they bring to the wildfire emergency facing so many communities right now."  

The order remains in effect until September 30 at 11:59 PM. 

Read the proclamation here.

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