Burn bans, fire danger and…rain?

Usually burn bans, high fire danger and rain aren’t in the same forecast, but this time around they will be, and all at the same time.

First thing’s first: A state-wide burn ban is in effect until September 30th. The ban includes campfires in all state, local and private campgrounds, and all forestlands in Washington state, except federal lands. This is due in part to the dry weather, but also the present wildfire activity in Central Washington.

A pesky area of low pressure off the Oregon Coast is spinning up some moisture that will translate into thunderstorms for the central and eastern portions of the state and scattered rain shower actitiy for the lowlands…for the most part. There is some thunderstorm activity near Enumclaw moving northeast towards I-90, but most of us are in the clear.

So is our dry streak doomed for destruction? Not quite. Although Western Washington as a whole runs the risk of losing the battle, the Kitsap Peninsula doesn’t seem to want to go down without a fight. Here’s a map showing 24-hour rainfall totals for Western Washington by 5 AM Saturday morning:


You can see the greater Seattle area is definitely pegged to get wet, but most of the peninsula stays dry. The biggest threat of rain lies along Bainbridge and Vashon Islands, and portions of the far northern tip of Kitsap. Sure, it seems silly to be chasing what very well could be 0.01” of rain, but that is all we need to break our little streak (Yeah, this is our version of “storm chasing” in the Northwest ;))

The Cascades and Eastern Washington are ripe for fire weather too, so these thunderstorms will not serve to help the situation at all.

We clear out and warm up by mid week next week, with temperatures approaching near 80 again. Now that’s more like it, August! 😉

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? Photos? E-mail me at: forecastingkitsap@live.com

One thought on “Burn bans, fire danger and…rain?

  1. Thanks for the Burn Ban warning. I had not yet heard about it. We live in an area where it is OK to burn paper trash when recycling is not easy or practical. After last winter’s heavy damage to our wooded lot, we are still cleaning up. Since I grew up in a time when big fires were close to home or logging was not allowed when the humidity was below a certain point, and having had family members work in the field,[even my daughter worked NFS-First attack firefighter], one takes fire seriously. All our fires have been kept small, under 4′, rake, shovel, and water hose handy. It meant more cutting, but one can burn a big pile faster than the new neighbors who tried to pile the winter damage up 8’ft high, under some tall trees, throw gas on the pile and stay there for hours trying to watch it. Truly, Thank God, they did not understand the lichen was still wet and it smoldered. Took 3 weekends to get it done. Ignorance may be bliss, but dangerous.

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