Please follow county burn ban restrictions

It was no surprise that the sand dunes at Ocean Shores caught fire on the Fourth of July. The mixture of warm weather and massive amounts of fireworks made it almost inevitable.

The dunes fire was swiftly dispatched by the pros at the Ocean Shores Fire Department.

We might not be so lucky when the next wildfire rolls through Grays Harbor County. It happened last year with the Margarita Fire northeast of Moclips in August when a mix of cedar slash and standing trees, surrounded by heavy timber, caught fire.

It was more than 60 acres after a few days. Over 100 on-the-ground wildfire fighters, 10 engines, three water tenders, a dozer, and two helicopters suppressed the fire.

An evacuation warning hit the community of Quinault Village, also known as Moclips Estates, advising residents should have essentials packed and be ready to go if conditions change.

Clouds and misty rain helped. It could have been worse.

At the time, Grays Harbor County fire officials said, “You can support firefighting efforts by observing local burn bans.”

As the heat continues to swelter across the Pacific Northwest, we are very much vulnerable to wildfires throughout Grays Harbor. The Olympics are extremely susceptible to wildfire as we are experiencing drought there, and throughout Western Washington. Eastern Washington is almost certain to experience devastating burns.

Be certain of one reality: Most wildfires are caused by people (about 90%), although thunderstorms due their damage as well.

According to a story in the Seattle Times, “More than 75% of Washington is considered abnormally dry, a quarter of the state suffers from “moderate” drought and more than 6% of the state is considered to be in “severe” drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.”

In response, Grays Harbor County issued a burn restriction Tuesday. Read the story by The Daily World reporter Michael S. Lockett on page one of today’s paper to get the details, but the regulations are both strict and specific.

We urge you to follow these restrictions and pray that we are spared a damaging wildfire in Grays Harbor this season. As Smokey the Bear has said for the past 80 years, “”Only you can prevent forest fires.”