fire

Conrad Wilson / Oregon Public Broadcasting

Officials with Union Pacific says its findings are preliminary.

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.

What Do You Do When Your House Burns Down?

Aug 1, 2014
arsheffield / https://www.flickr.com/photos/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.

USDA

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.

Study: Sage Grouse Habitat Slow To Rebound After Fire

Mar 25, 2014
USFWS

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.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Fighting wildfires would be funded more like hurricane and flood response under a proposal out of the Northwest that won President Obama's endorsement . The plan is being advanced by a bipartisan team of Oregon and Idaho senators in reaction to the growing cost of massive wildfires.

Glenn Scofield Williams / Wikimedia Commons

Fire managers expect the Government Flats Complex will be 90 percent contained by Thursday. But for the city of The Dalles, those fires have created problems for the city's water supply that could last for years. 

The same weather patterns that are making the Rim Fire a challenge for firefighters in California have been moving up through parts of the Northwest. Specifically, through central Idaho. Fire managers say the forests there are ripe for fire, and more lightning is in the forecast this week.

The fact that massive fires are raging both in California and in Idaho is no coincidence, according to Robyn Broyles. She's with the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise.

The Eagle Wildfire Near Leavenworth Now 10% Contained

Aug 22, 2013

Some 600 firefighters continue working the lines of the so called Eagle wildfire burning near Leavenworth. It’s estimated to be just under 2 square miles.

Weather forecasters are predicting more lightning throughout the Northwest over the next few days. That could make things tougher for fire fighters, who are already battling several large wildfires throughout the region.

Beaver Creek Fire Renews Push For Homeowner Vigilance

Aug 21, 2013

The fire raging near Sun Valley, Idaho, is serving as a wake-up call for homeowners in fire-prone areas across the Northwest. The 106,000-acre Beaver Creek Fire has burned one house.

And fire managers say it’s lucky they didn't lose more.

Steven Garman lives outside of Ketchum, Idaho. He's a retired firefighter. Garman says like many homes in the area, his house was not designed to be fire resistant.

Sun Valley Businesses Worry About Fire's Economic Impact

Aug 21, 2013

Businesses around Sun Valley, Idaho worry the massive Beaver Creek fire will have a big impact on the tourist-dependent economy of central Idaho. Several events have already been canceled because of the blaze.

This is the new worry by business owners. First of course was the threat of fire. And now there’s the threat of fire or at least the perceived threat of it will continue to keep away tourists through a really crucial part of their business cycle.

Crews Taking Offensive On Idaho's Beaver Creek Fire

Aug 20, 2013

The estimated cost of fighting Idaho’s Beaver Creek Fire now tops more than $11 million. Fire crews near Sun Valley, Idaho say the blaze has become manageable but is a long way from contained.

The mood at Baker’s Spike camp has changed almost over night. There is now a feeling of optimism. Crews are feeling like they can take an offensive stance against the fire instead of a defensive one. They have enough resources now where they can plan ahead and anticipate where the fire might go next, while they’re also attacking the fire.

Wildfires Outside The Dalles Destroy Two Homes

Aug 20, 2013

Large wildfires burning outside of the Dalles have destroyed 2 homes. That's according to the Office of the Oregon State Fire Marshall. It's not clear if the homes were being lived in.

Wildfires Threatening Dozens Of Homes Near The Dalles

Aug 19, 2013

The Wasco County Sheriff’s Office is telling residents of about 70 homes to be ready to evacuate. That's as a series of wildfires continues to burn in the rolling hills southwest of the Dalles. The Government Flat Complex began after lightning moved through the area late last week. 

Some of the Idaho homeowners evacuated because of a nearby wildfire are now being allowed to return home.  Authorities are still warning homeowners they may be evacuated again. 

Len DIaz / Washington Interagency Incident Management Team

With wildfires still raging across the Northwest, fire managers are turning to private fire-fighting crews in increasing numbers. One private industry group says private contractors are responsible for a surprising 40 percent of fire-fighters on the ground in the region.

Beaver Creek Update: Nearly 10,000 Homes On Evacuation Alert

Aug 19, 2013

More resources continue to pour into Idaho’s central mountains to fight a growing wildfire that has now consumed more than 150 square miles, or roughly the size of Detroit.

The U.S. Forest Service’s top official is in Idaho today to assess the wildfire situation. The threats from some of Idaho’s large fires have diminished. That includes the Elk Complex which destroyed homes in the towns of Pine and Featherville. But the Beaver Creek Fire has become an increasingly dangerous one.

Things have taken a turn for worse in central Idaho. The Beaver Creek Fire continues to grow quickly, and residents of the resort towns of Sun Valley and Ketchum have been told to prepare to evacuate.

Wildfires burning in Idaho continue to be the country’s top firefighting priority. There are two massive blazes in that state that continue to threaten communities. Hundreds of people remain evacuated.

Idaho Fire Nation’s Top Priority

Aug 13, 2013

A massive wildfire burning in Idaho has become the nation’s top firefighting priority. The 125 square mile blaze is threatening hundreds of homes and hundreds of people have been asked to leave.

Rafters can once again try their luck shooting the rapids on a popular southern Oregon river.

The Rogue River re-opened to pleasure-seekers Monday after weekend rains tamped down some wildfires in the area. The nearly two-week closure was a major economic hit to businesses that specialize in river recreation.

Pete Wallstrom owns Momentum River Expeditions. He says his first guided trip down the Rogue won't be until Thursday as staffers try to get hold of people who canceled their trips.

Torrents of mud and debris have closed three roads near Wenatchee in central Washington. The landslides were caused by thunderstorms on Sunday, along with wildfire damage. The mudflows have hampered firefighting efforts on the Mile Post 10 fire, which has grown to 6,000 acres since Friday.

Some residents and fire trucks were stranded. Rick Isaacson is an information officer for Chelan Fire District 1. He says it’s been a pretty tough couple of weeks. “If I lived up there I’d be on vacation in Hawaii for about three weeks. And just leave it at that. If I could.”

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