Labor Day campers use caution as a 'Red Flag Warning' for wildfires is issued in Washington

Communities across Washington are seeing critical fire conditions that could cause flames to quickly spread. The weather forecast of hot temperatures, gusty winds and dry land are just the right conditions to turn any fire into a dangerous situation.

As the state is in a Red Flag Warning through Wednesday evening, it’s critical for everyone to use safety precautions to prevent wildfires.

Several families visited Flowing Lake County Park and Campground in Snohomish for their Labor Day weekend getaway. While some campers decided to ditch their tradition of a campfire out of caution, all of them said they weren’t going to miss their annual camping trip.

“The weather was great and the campsites are spread out pretty good. They’re not on top of each other and there’s a lot of activities that you can do here,” Shaft Williams, visiting the park with his family from Bothell.

“Just relaxed from our daily routine—just come and got away from the city and the masks and all that good stuff,” said Michelle Orton, visiting the park with her family from Everett.

While immersed in nature, they’re also using safety precautions during the Red Flag Warning for wildfires.

“Even when the fire danger is at yellow or even below, it is still easy to start a fire to catch things on fire. So, even if you don’t hear the fire danger is high, always be aware that is so easy to start a fire,” said Orton.

Orton is a former firefighter and knows just how quickly flames can get out of hand.

“I’ll go in a burning building before I do any wildland fire fighting. It’s a lot of work,” said Orton.

While camping, her family keeps a water source close by. When they’re done, they let the fire die, douse the logs in the water, and keep an eye on the pit until it’s fully burned out.

“If you see something red go up, keep an eye on it, make sure it doesn’t go off. It only takes very little spark to start off a fire and they move very, very quick,” said Orton.

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources said about 90 percent of wildfires are started by humans. There is a burn ban and shooting ban at all DNR managed land. Officials said it is so important that people follow these rules and do their part in preventing wildfires. 

The DNR has safety tips to help protect the land. The tips include don’t burn debris, don’t drag chains from cars, don’t park on dry grass, no target shooting or fireworks, and no dispersed campfires.

“Really make sure that the fires are put out. Everyone’s a safe distance around while it is going. But when we put it out, we make sure we douse it really good,” said Williams.