Wildfires ravaged through Washington state this year, and according to the Washington Department of Natural Resources, over 100,000 acres already burned because of them.
This report matters because the number of wildfires increased. When we look at last year’s wildfires, 2018 saw wild fires take over five times as many acres. A considerable increase that should concern all Washington residents.
Data shows that by this time last year, the fire consumed more than 17,000 acres. In 2016, wildfires were only responsible for engulfing 1,600 acres. The last time we had more than 300,000 acres burned due to wildfires was in 2014. But since 2016, things have been getting worse.
With the around 800 wildfires ravaging through the state this year, we must start discussing our options, and asking ourselves what we can do to keep these events from becoming even more destructive next year.
Authorities say that 80 percent of wildfires this year caused by humans. But according to Washington law, individuals can face a $1,000 fine if they are caught throwing lit material out of their vehicles.
Still, there’s another issue that may be behind a great deal of fires: Electrical equipment failure.
The risk of electrical fires growing into major wildfires is far from just a possibility. In the past, authorities in the state of California learned that the leading cause of wildfires were related to power lines and electrical equipment failure. While we haven’t seen that happen often in Washington, it’s also a risk, and a major one. After all, it only takes one spark.
We are thankful for Washington authorities for doing such a great work keeping Washingtonians safe. But we’re also hopeful that those who are responsible for these fires are also being held accountable.
For more details on the wildfires taking over Washington state, and what authorities know so far, follow this link.