Benton County is warning to not even think of starting a fire for the foreseeable future.

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High Fire Danger Declared for Benton County

Residents of Benton County are on high alert as fire danger has been classified as "Very High" until further notice, according to the latest release issued by Benton County. The announcement was made over concerns over dry conditions and heightened fire risks for our area, showing the need for strict burning restrictions and safety protocols across the entire region.

The Benton Clean Air Agency has emphasized that no residential burning is allowed within city limits and adjacent areas, regardless of the specific restrictions listed in the fire danger table. This precaution is crucial due to environmental factors which can quickly escalate the risk of fire spreading.

For anyone considering burning activities, it is currently mandatory to call the designated Burn Line before initiating any burning. Residents must call 509-783-6198 for residential burning, and 509-783-6570 for agricultural burning to ensure they are following current regulations. The Energy Release Values (ERC), calculated for Fuel Model T and Fire Danger Adjective Class, show the severity of the current fire risk. Benton County is now classified under "Very High" fire danger, and authorities warn that fires can start easily and spread very rapidly, causing significant challenges in trying to put them out.

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Current Benton County Conditions Present a Large Fire Risk

Under these conditions, even controlled burns present large risks, which is why almost all fires are banned. The Fire Danger Classification categorizes the current situation as "Very High," saying that fires can ignite from various sources and spread faster than firefighters can respond. Flame lengths are expected to be large, with intense heat making containment efforts extremely demanding and time-consuming if not impossible. These restrictions are crucial to prevent accidental fire starts that could rapidly escalate into large-scale emergencies, especially during periods of extreme fire danger like we are currently experiencing.

For more information or clarification on the current burning restrictions for our area, residents are advised to contact the Benton Clean Air Agency at 509-783-1304. Also, report any signs of smoke or fire immediately by calling emergency services at 911.

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Gallery Credit: Anuradha Varanasi

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