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It's Raining, But Wildfire Season Is Starting In Washington

<p>Fire officials say the Withers fire, burning near Paisley, Oregon, was intentionally set. The fire has burned more than 3,000 acres and is currently 65 percent contained.&nbsp;</p>

Fire officials say the Withers fire, burning near Paisley, Oregon, was intentionally set. The fire has burned more than 3,000 acres and is currently 65 percent contained. 

Despite a wet and windy spring, wildfire season officially begins in Washington state Saturday. Oregon’s fire season typically begins next month, depending on weather conditions.

As the season begins, fire officials caution people working in the woods or clearing land to have fire prevention equipment on hand.

“All this snow and rain may delay our fire season, but our forests always face the threat of wildfire,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. “We’re going to do everything we can to be ready."

Fire officials say property owners can reduce their risk by keeping dead vegetation off roofs and away from buildings.

stay in effect until October.

While mountain basins in the Pacific Northwest currently have an above average snow pack, the National Weather Service is predicting a relatively dry summer.

Out of the 800 wildfires in Washington last year, 90 percent were human-caused.

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Kristian Foden-Vencil is a reporter and producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting. He specializes in health care, business, politics, law and public safety.