Agency predicts heavy wildfire season along West Coast

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The National Interagency Fire Center is predicting a heavy wildfire season for areas along the West Coast of the United States this summer.

The Boise, Idaho-based center said Wednesday that most of the country can expect a normal wildfire season in the period from May through August.

But the states of California, Washington and Oregon are an exception.

The agency says a heavy crop of grasses and fine fuels has developed across California and should elevate fire potential as it dries through the summer.

Meanwhile, the Pacific Northwest has entered a period of moderate drought. That might mean an early fire season in the Cascade Range and the Okanogan region.