Record-breaking temperatures and a 60-acre fire burning in the heart of Capitol State Forest provided a necessary early warning to take extra precautions in the backcountry. If campfires become wildfires, tragic consequences can result.
Fire crews have not determined the cause of the Capitol State Forest fire that began Sunday, but all too often human carelessness plays a role. When forests become dry enough, even scraping metal surfaces can spark a blaze.
Although authorities have not determined the cause of the Taylor Bridge fire near Cle Elum fire last year that burned 23,500 acres and destroyed 61 homes, it is suspected to have started in a construction zone.
Every one of us has the responsibility to be careful with cigarettes and campfires. Do not throw butts on the ground, even supposedly extinguished ones. Thoroughly extinguish campfires. It should be obvious to not set off fireworks near a forest. And pay attention to fire restrictions. They apply to all of us.
Luckily, the Capitol State Forest is not threatening any homes and cooler weather has helped fire crews get it under control. If we all do our part, the South Sound will make it through the fire season without further incident.