Official: Busy wildfire season will be impacted by pandemic

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Washington state has already had a busy wildfire season, and that’s before the full effects of summer heat and the coronavirus pandemic kick in.Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz said Thursday that the pandemic will require special precautions to keep firefighters and support crews safe. Franz said already this year there have been 263 wildfires reported in Washington, the majority caused by humans. That compares to a 10-year average of 103 fires by this time.The potential for wildfires is especially high in eastern Washington this year, where the weather is expected to be warmer and drier than usual.