It has rained, and rained, and rained in the South Sound, so much so, that the downpour in the Olympia area over the weekend set a record.
But despite wet winter and spring seasons that have resulted in an above-average snowpack in the mountains, the state Department of Natural Resources already is planning for a dry, dangerous summer.
Fire prevention restrictions went into effect Sunday, according to DNR, and remain active until Oct. 15 on 13 million acres of protected land statewide.
Regulations largely affect residents who live or work in wooded areas, and require proper fire extinguishing equipment at job sites.
People working in wooded areas must observe Industrial Fire Precaution Levels, DNR says, which can change daily. Updates by location are available on the DNR website or by calling 1-800-527-3305.
DNR also restricts cigarette smoking in wooded areas. Smokers must stay in clearings such as roads or gravel pits, and dispose of cigarettes properly.
Lighting fireworks is prohibited in forested areas.
Residents can begin to prepare for the dry season now by removing dead vegetation near buildings or other areas where it could ignite.
Despite a similar wet start to 2017, wildfires across the state burned through more than 32,800 acres of protected lands, according to a DNR release.
Of those 815 wildfires, 90 percent were caused by humans.
Several wildfires ripped through Thurston County, causing burn bans in Lacey, Olympia and Tumwater to be extended, and destroying hundreds of acres of property.
The highly visible Scatter Creek fire in Rochester last August burned through 485 acres of land and took multiple weeks to be completely extinguished.
Lacey Fire District 3 reported in January it responded to more than 13,000 emergency calls in 2017.
“Whether fire season is delayed or not, Washington’s forests always face the threat of wildfire,” Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz said in a news release.
“We’re preparing now to be ready for fire season before the weather heats up, and I encourage all our neighbors to do the same.”