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Officials warn fire season is just heating up

Benton County Fire responded to the Yakitat fire June 28

From fireworks to fire hazards… Benton County Fire officials are worried this fire season is just heating up.

"We've had three large incidents already and it's not even July yet,” said Adrian Kallio with Benton County Fire.

It's been a busy fire season so far this year and officials say they expect it to only get worse.

"From the size of the fires we're getting this early in the fire season it could be a bad year for us,” Kallio said.

Benton County Fire is warning members of the community to be safe, especially with the Fourth of July right around the corner.

"Try not to do anything that could spark," Kallio said.

Officials are telling community members to go to a public fireworks display instead of lighting off their own, but if you are planning to light off fireworks next week fire officials are urging you to do it on gravel, dirt or concrete -- away from any brown or yellow grass.

"Please refrain from lighting off your own fireworks when possible,” Kallio said, “just due to the weather we've already been having."

Neighbors in the Benton City area say recent fires have burned too close to home and worry about the weeks to come.

“It seems to be happening a lot and a lot earlier this year particularly,” said Samantha Hodge, resident of Benton City.

Hodge and her family are ready to leave at a moment's notice if they need to evacuate.

We have a fire preparedness bag that we can grab if we need to leave on the run with clothes and food and stuff for the kids if we need it,” Hodge said.

If you’re worried your grass is too dry, Kallio has a trick to test.

"If you rub it and it starts changing from green to brownish yellow, you can actually feel the oils on your skin, that's when the fires are going to just run on us,” Kallio said,

Report any fire hazards you see to local authorities.

Officials also say if you're going to light fireworks next week make sure to start watering your yard now and the morning of the Fourth of July to keep your grass hydrated and prevent any potential fire threats from spreading.

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