Washington wildfire outlook: Above normal danger starting in July

SEATTLE (AP) — The latest wildfire forecast calls for above-normal wildfire danger in Washington state from July through September.

The National Interagency Fire Center's June report shows fire potential to be normal this month, except in the northeast corner where it is above normal.

The outlook calls for increased fire activity and the potential for "robust above normal fire activity" in July, August and September.

Thunderstorms east of the Cascades are expected to bring more lightning than typical in July and August and that will be a deciding factor in the intensity of this year's fire season.

Gov. Jay Inslee declared a statewide drought emergency on May 15. Fire officials with Department of Natural Resources say they expect fires to start earlier and reach higher elevations.

In 2014, nearly 900 wildfires in Washington burned about 315,000 acres, or nearly 500 square miles.