From the old TV show – “Danger Will Robinson, Danger!” The fireworks may be over, but the threat of wildfires – both rural and urban – remains.

The recipe for wildfires is dry conditions, heat, and an ignition source.

Conditions are certainly dry across the region. In Western Washington alone since the first of the year, interior regions from Portland, Oregon to Bellingham have a deficit of between 6 and 10 inches of rain. The coast is even worse with precipitation deficits of 10 inches to nearly 18 inches below average. And the last measurable rain fell on June 20th across much of the region.

Today and Thursday will offer the next wildfire ingredient – heat. Temperatures in the interior will rise well into the 80s and climb into the 90s in some of the warmest spots in the foothills away from shorelines.

Daily record high temperatures will be threatened on today and Thursday. For examples, the record high today at Paine Field Everett is 85 degrees set in 2015. Arlington hit 90 also in 2015, while Monroe’s record is also 92 set in 1958, and Sedro Woolley has a record high of 90 degrees established in 1914.

Thanks to low level offshore flow toward the ocean today, relative humidities will also be quite low for additional dry conditions along with some gusty winds – ripe conditions for wildfires and wildfire growth.

Yet, there are no wildfires without that third recipe ingredient – an ignition source. According to statistics, about 80 percent of wildfires are human caused – the bulk of them brush fires. The key to minimizing wildfires is avoiding fire starts. In recent days, there have been a number of brush fires primarily along the side of roadways. Examples include in Olympia, in Kent and on Sunday evening along the east end of the Hewitt Avenue Trestle in Snohomish County.

Wildfires have ignited elsewhere around the state including the Underwood Fire in the Columbia Gorge and the Rest Haven Fire near Selah. Wildfire smoke has visited Western Washington in five of the last 6 years, primarily from fires elsewhere including British Columbia, Eastern Washington, Oregon and even California. Already this year, smoke from the historic Canadian wildfires has passed through the region at high altitudes.

According to the Wildfire Outlook through September, this summer looks to offer yet another active wildfire season across the state. That assessment means the odds of more wildfire smoke may be in the offing later this summer.

There are actions that can be taken now. Remember those N95 masks? They are quite helpful if wildfire smoke envelopes the region again, keeping much of those fire particles out of your respiratory system.

Steps can be taken around the house too. Visit for a complete list, but some actions include trimming up tree limbs up to above your head, clear your roof and gutters of debris, and create a defensible space around your home or business.

Avoiding ignition sources is critical. For instance, keep burning materials inside vehicles, tighten up tow chains so they don’t drag on pavement and create sparks, and avoid driving across grassy areas where hot components can initiate a fire. Also ensure campfires are cold before leaving camp, and avoid outdoor burning beyond BBQs and fire pits.

Many areas have placed outdoor burning bans in place such as Island and Snohomish counties. Check with your local jurisdiction for specific information.

The summer weather outlook continues to reflect odds tipped to warmer and drier than average conditions. The warm dry environmental conditions are beyond human control, yet avoiding fire starts is something that all can help prevent. Will Robinson can attest to that.