Washington just keeps getting hit with the bad news this month. Firefighters in the state have been battling dozens of wildfires. Some of the fires are beginning to fizzle out and although the mass of smoke that has been over the fires lifted recently, there are worries that now new fires could start without the cap of smoke.
More than 275,000 gallons of water have been dropped in an attempt to stop 16 large wildfires burning through the state, according to the state’s National Guard. There was a lack of firefighters when the fires began but now thousands of residents have responded to the state ad to help squash the fires.
The number of National Guard troops battling the fires rose to about 1,000. The additional resources luckily came two days after President Barack Obama approved Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s request for a federal emergency declaration.\
The fires are burning and fast, spreading acres by the hour. Three firefighters died fighting the blaze when it changed course abruptly and their vehicle crashed. The eastern halves of Washington and Oregon are both under air quality alerts because of the heavy smoke that is in the air and Idaho, Montana, California and Colorado are also struggling to stop the wildfires according to the National Weather Service.
Citizens are prepared for evacuation at any time but many are reluctant to leave. “One of the reasons that we stayed is to keep track of looters,” resident Pat Coffey told King 5 news. “Every disaster, they come out of the woodwork.”