Courtney Flatt / NWPR/EarthFix

Puget Sound steelhead will be heading to an inland Washington lake again this summer. That’s because federal officials are conducting a review of those hatchery programs. The controversy is bringing up a lot of debate about hatchery science in the Northwest.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee will sign a new two-year budget into law Tuesday – just in time to avert a partial government shutdown. State lawmakers moved quickly to pass the $38 billion budget Monday night after striking a deal that ended weeks of gridlock.

Firefighters in Wenatchee are bracing for another day of dry winds and near triple-digit temperatures as they work to contain the brush fire that levelled two dozen homes and scorched 3000 acres. 

Michael MK Khor/FLIKR

Those in charge of fighting the nation’s wildfires are again asking drone owners not to fly their unmanned aircraft near fires. The plea comes after drones forced the suspension of two firefights last week in California.

The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise says aerial firefights on the San Bernardino National Forest on Wednesday and Thursday had to be put on hold until drones detected near the fire, stopped flying.

Ken Balcomb / Center for Whale Research

It’s been a one-two punch of low snowpack last winter and not enough rain this spring for many Northwest rivers. Warm temperatures and low river flows are causing problems for salmon making the return migration.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

With a third special session underway, the Washington House and Senate plan to vote sometime Monday on a two-year budget. A vote on a gas tax package is also possible this week. It follows a whirlwind weekend of negotiations.


At least a thousand people have fled their homes as a fast-growing wildfire burns in central Washington.


Washington state lawmakers have until next week to pin down a budget. If they don’t, parts of state government will shut down. In the midst of a drought, that could have ramifications for farmers and for fish.

This year’s drought is affecting Washington in all kinds of ways. It’s even threatening to make a potential government shutdown even more painful. That would happen on July 1 unless a budget agreement is reached.

By Tom Banse

More than one thousand Washington National Guard members are rehearsing a worst-case earthquake scenario this week. That would be a magnitude nine rupture of the offshore Cascadia fault zone. Adjutant General Bret Daugherty says he assumes quake relief in that case will need to be delivered by airlift from east of the Cascades.

"We're going to have large pockets of isolation because we're not going to be able to travel on the ground. So really, help is going to have to flow into Western Washington from the east. Spokane is going to play a critical role there," says Daugherty.


The legal battle over maintaining dams and salmon in the Columbia River is back in court this week. On Tuesday, a new judge will hear arguments on the Obama administration's latest salmon protection plan.