Both Oregon and Washington’s state forestry departments had hoped to try out drones this summer to provide reconnaissance at wildfire scenes. But neither firefighting agency managed to pull it off. Now both plan to try again next year.

arsheffield /

 Wildfire have been destroying property – and lives – across the Northwest for the past month and that got us wondering: what do you do if your home or property is damaged in a fire? Here are precautions and steps to take.

Safety First

Wildfires Blaze Their Way Across The Northwest

Jul 16, 2014
Oregon Department of Transportation

Wildfires continue to blaze around the region. Washington state has declared a state of emergency for 20 of its eastern counties. In Oregon, more than a dozen fires are burning right now, with the biggest concentration in the center of the state.

Washington Incident Management Team #2 / InciWeb

Workers in the Tri-Cities, Wash. area got notice Wednesday of tinder-dry conditions at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and were advised to practice fire safety at work and at home. It’s about four weeks ahead of schedule for these types of fire-weather alerts and a sign of a long, hot summer ahead.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

A 70-year-old woman has been criminally charged for allegedly feeding bears at her house on Washington's Long Beach peninsula. This is believed to be the first time someone has been prosecuted under a relatively new law against feeding large wild carnivores. The accused woman denies the charges.

Famartin / Wikimedia

The study is by the think tank Headwaters Economics, based in Bozeman, Mont. Researchers looked at what are known as “firewise” communities. Rural homeowners are encouraged to do things like clear brush around their homes and replace wood shingles with a metal roof.


A new strategy for fighting wildfires has been announced by the federal government in response to increasingly costly fire seasons in the West.

When it comes to his hometown of Akron, Ohio, writer and journalist David Giffels says, "I have spent my whole life watching people leave." Once known as the rubber capital of the world, Akron was a hub of tire manufacturing giants. Goodyear, Firestone and Goodrich provided thousands of high-paying jobs until the 1970s, when those jobs began migrating to places with cheaper labor.


A new study suggests creating livable habitat for the dwindling sage grouse may be trickier than originally thought. Wildfires have been tearing through the bird's territory in the West. Now, federal researchers find even 20 years after a fire, the ecology is still not up to sage grouse standards.

This series on first novels continues with a look at the book auction: what triggers one, how one is organized, and what running one is like. Previous posts covered how agents fall in love with books and how editors acquire them.