So it goes in Washington state and in neighboring Oregon, where hot, dry conditions have already spawned more blazes this year than last summer and where experts are bracing for the situation to get even worse.
Meteorologists say a stubborn ridge of high pressure hanging over the region since the spring has blocked cooler weather. The July 4 weekend was the hottest on record in western Washington, and the record for consecutive 90-plus days was just tied.
"We typically see those hot and dry conditions later on but we're getting them right now which is not a good thing," said Mary Lee, the meteorologist for NBC affiliate KING5.
"Because of that we are talking about an incredibly high fire danger."
In response, Washington has banned outdoor fires on state land until Sept. 30 and issued an emergency order that will make it easier to call in the National Guard if things get too bad.
"Unfortunately, I think one of the bylines for what the weather's doing these days is to expect the unexpected," Goldmark said.
In Forks, Washington, on the outskirts of the Hoh Rain Forest, the 3,500 residents go to bed not knowing what to expect.
"All we can do is pray every day and hope that when you wake up in the morning, you've gotten thru the night OK," Mayor Bryon Monohon said.
The city averages 10 feet of rain a year, but it's so parched this summer that the July 4 fireworks show was canceled.
And in Wenatchee, a monster fire destroyed nearly 30 homes last week, about half of them on the same block.
Scott Marboe lost his home of 16 years.
"It was a firestorm," he said. "I mean, that's what Mother Nature does."