It was a long and hot fire season in Washington state says Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. She was joined by officials from the Department of Natural Resources Thursday to review the 2023 wildfire season, highlight some of the year’s successes, detail upcoming improvements and "celebrate interagency partnerships."

THE SECOND HIGHEST NUMBER OF IGNITIONS EVER

"Statewide, we saw the second-most ignitions in Washington’s history this year, including the tragedies that were the Gray and Oregon fires,” Commissioner Franz says they were able to keep 95 percent of DNR protection fires under 10 acres. She says that's well below the 10-year average for acres burned which she says is a result of the hard work, investments in resources like more aircraft, more firefighters and improved training.

Schneider Springs Fire Facebook page
Schneider Springs Fire Facebook page
loading...

FIREFIGHTERS WERE BUSY ALL SEASON ALL AROUND THE STATE

Franz says firefighters responded to 1,880 fires in the state in the 2023 fire season. The fires burned about 165,000 acres which is the second-highest number of fires in recorded history but well below the 10-year average of about 470,000 acres burned.

WHERE WERE A MAJORITY OF FIRES LOCATED IN THE STATE?

This year it wasn't the east side of the state where a majority of the fires burned. Franz says more than half of the fires on DNR-protected lands happened on the west side of  the state.

Get our free mobile app

PRAISE FOR FIREFIGHTERS AND PARTNERSHIPS

A press release says DNR’s Acting Southeast Region Manager Larry Leach and Central Mason Fire & EMS Division Chief Brandon Searles praise the work of firefighters in the Tunnel Five and McEwan fires, "and the collaboration that went into those suppression efforts."
“There’s no partnership I’m prouder of than my agency’s collaborative work with local fire districts to fight wildfires all across Washington,” Commissioner Franz said. “Our relationship is a valuable one, and it’s a relationship I’ll continue to work to strengthen.”

Got a news tip? Email us here.

MORE TOP STORIES FROM LANCE:

25 True Crime Locations: What Do They Look Like Today?

Below, find out where 25 of the most infamous crimes in history took place — and what the locations are used for today. (If they've been left standing.)

READ ON: See the States Where People Live the Longest

Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.

Gallery Credit: Hannah Lang

LOOK: 50 cozy towns to visit this winter

Stacker created a list of 50 cozy American towns to visit each winter. Towns were selected based on visitor opinions, ratings from nationwide publications, and tourist attractions.

Gallery Credit: Laura Ratliff

More From 610 KONA