Washington National Guard prepares to tackle wildfires

CAMP MURRAY, Wash-- Following last summer's devastating wildfire season, the Washington National Guard will test its ability to respond to a large-scale fire.

The annual Operation Evergreen Ember exercise takes place June 14-21. The week-long training exercises will be held at Camp Murray, the Yakima Training Center, the HAMMER facility in Richland, and at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane.

Operation Evergreen Ember will test the Guard's alert systems, readiness and ability to support civilian authorities during natural disasters that require more resources than the state can provide.

Washington's fire season is expected to start later than normal following a rainy, wet spring.