Remember the cool wet spring? The current heat wave has put that time of year well in the rearview mirror and dried out unirrigated grasses and shrubs, making them ready to burn. Wildfire season here in the North Sound is underway. Now is the time to be quite careful with any burning materials. North Sound counties have outdoor burn bans in place. Check with your local county or fire districts for the latest information.

If you have not established fire defensible space around your home or business, now is the time to do so. Visit https://www.dnr.wa.gov/firewise or the National Fire Protection Association for complete information on how you can better defend your home from wildfires. If you have landscape sprinkler systems, use them. Your water bill will be less than replacing your home and they also can reduce the temperature around your home. The best time to run them is after dark or late night when the temps start to drop.

Wildfires elsewhere in the country have burned homes and businesses, and it can happen here. Some simple steps to take include trimming up tree limbs to above your shoulder so any burning on the ground cannot climb into the trees. Also, clear gutters of debris and move firewood away from buildings.

On the road, avoid tossing any burning materials like cigarettes out the window. They can wind up in the road’s shoulder and start a roadside fire in  dry grass. If towing a trailer, tighten up the tow chain so it does not drag on the pavement and create sparks.

In addition, this is no time to be playing with fireworks. So far this century, a number of fires have been started by fireworks in the North Sound.

Nature’s air conditioning from the Pacific Ocean is forecast to begin moderating temperatures by the end of this week and into next week. Yet, the dry conditions will continue and the region’s wildfire season is here until further notice.

North Sound Meteorologist Ted Buehner worked more than 40 years for the National Weather Service (NWS) from 1977 to 2018. He is now an Everett Post Media team member. Together with Everett Post Weather Minute Podcasts, he provides morning and afternoon commute traffic and weather updates on both KRKO and KXA Radio, and sports reporting on KRKO.