More Wash. wildfires but fewer acres burned in 2009

OLYMPIA — The state Department of Natural Resources says firefighters fought more blazes on state-protected land this year, but fewer acres burned.

The agency protects 12.7 million acres of private, state, tribal and other open land.

Firefighters responded to 992 fires this year between April 15 and October 15, with 18,924 acres burned. There were 813 fires with 19,613 acres burned during last year’s fire season.

Public Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark says more than 90 percent of the fires were held to 10 acres of less.

The biggest fire was the Oden Road Fire, west of Okanogan, at 9,607 acres. Lightning sparked the fire Aug. 21, and it destroyed two homes and 12 other structures.

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