What a summer. With drought conditions contributing to record-sized wildfires, many in DNR’s Wildfire Division have been assisting with suppression efforts since June. We’ll all be happy for a respite, even if it means the end of sunny weather.

With so many people feeling the impact of wildfires this summer, you may be wondering how to help. At the tree canopy level, we know that central and eastern Washington residents have lost many trees to the fire. Last year, following a then-unprecedented fire season, a partnership was planted between the Washington State Nursery and Landscape Association, the Okanogan Conservation District, the Methow Conservancy, and the Arbor Day Foundation. The program is called the Community Tree Recovery Program. It is a multiyear effort designed to help residents who have been impacted by fires in central Washington. You can contribute to the tree canopy recovery project by following the link to this website, hosted by Arbor Day Foundation. According to the website, trees will help residents renew a “sense of community and restore hope to those who have lost so much. With your help, these rural Washington towns can once again enjoy the beautiful tree-lined streets they have always known.”

Some sources say that as many as 90 percent of wildland fires in the United States are caused by humans. Take care out there, and remember to give your trees a nice cool ‘sip’ of water to help them through this dry spell.

By Linden J. Lampman, program manager, DNR Urban and Community Forestry Program