Washington State issues read flag over potential lightning, dry conditions can lead to fires

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A Red Flag Warning was issued for portions of western Washington on Wednesday due to the threat of thunderstorms amid dry conditions.

The warning issued by the National Weather Service is in effect from 2 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Wednesday, KING5 reported.

Affected areas include the eastern sides of Snohomish, Skagit, and Whatcom counties, along with areas near the coast on the Olympic Peninsula from Hoquiam north to Neah Bay. The National Weather Service warns lightning strikes in areas with dry conditions can quickly cause fires.

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A Red Flag has been issued in portions of western Washington due to lightning.

A Red Flag has been issued in portions of western Washington due to lightning.

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“Thunderstorms can also bring sudden sharp wind shifts on existing fires, causing rapid changes in a fire’s rate of spread and direction of spread,” the Weather Service warns. “Thunderstorm outflow winds can be a threat for several hours following the start of a new lightning-cause fire.”

Thunderstorm activity will “generally pick up in the early afternoon,” weather officials said. However, activity is possible in the morning.

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There are currently no major wildfires burning in western Washington. Three larger wildfires are burning east of the Cascades, including Cow Canyon, Vantage Highway and Williams Lake fires.

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