fire

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.”

A firefighter has died in a truck accident on a one-lane mountain road in Southern Oregon. Jesse A. Trader was 19 years old. He was working for a company that was contracted to fight the Big Windy Complex of Fires south of the Rogue River.

Credit Marvin Vetter / ODF

The Red Cross says it’s handed out about 20,000  respirator masks so far in southern Oregon communities plagued by wildfire smoke.The state continues to measure unhealthy levels of smoke pollution in places like Cave Junction and Grants Pass.

Gov. Kitzhaber Boosts Firefighting Effort In SE Oregon

Aug 5, 2013
Douglas Forest Protective Association

Governor Kitzhaber and both Oregon U.S. senators received a briefing today in Glendale on the wildfires burning in Southern Oregon. Local, state, and federal agencies informed community members and state legislators on the status of the Douglas Complex Fires.

Cooler Weather Helps Fire Crews in SW Oregon

Aug 1, 2013
Credit Marvin Vetter / ODF

The Douglas Complex of wildfires in southwest Oregon has grown to more than 28-thousand acres. The dry lightning forecast for Wednesday never materialized in the region.

Douglas Forest Protective Association

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber has declared a state of emergency for Douglas and Josephine counties because of a complex of wildfires that's grown to more than 25-thousand acres. 

Thunderstorms Expected To Spread Wildfires, Start More

Jul 31, 2013

Fire managers are bracing for a round of thunderstorms that could create erratic fire behavior across the Northwest. Storms are expected from Challis, Idaho, to Grants Pass, Ore., starting Wednesday.

Sarah Levy at the Northwest Coordination Center in Portland says in some places, firefighters are digging additional lines in anticipation. But then there's the other concern – that more fires will start.

Smoke from wildfires is creating poor breathing conditions in parts of the Northwest.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality says the air has reached "very unhealthy" levels in parts of southwest Oregon. That's due to a series of wildfires that have led to some evacuations but so far have caused very little property damage.

A fire that started Saturday morning near Wenatchee, Wash., is now burning more than 30 square miles in rugged terrain. Five homes have been consumed in the blaze and the residents in another 60 are being told to evacuate.

It's one of nearly two-dozen major fires now burning across the Northwest.

Forecasters predicted a higher-than-normal fire season this year in parts of the region, and so far it's right on target.

Large Fires Threaten Oregon Homes

Jul 29, 2013

Large fires in Southwest Oregon continue to threaten more than 300 homes.  Authorities have issued level 3 evacuations for about 40 homes in the vicinity of the Douglas Complex.

Goldendale Area Wildfire Grows Over Weekend

Jul 29, 2013
Anna King

Over the weekend the wildfire burning near Goldendale, in southeast Washington, grew to more than 17,000 acres. Firefighters are battling flames in grass, brush and timber. So far, no homes have burned, but the fire has closed a highway that runs between the towns of Toppenish and Goldendale. The blaze called the Mile Marker 28 fire is moving toward the town of Bickelton, Washington and is about 25 percent contained. More than 1,200 firefighters are working about 78 miles of fire line. Steve Derry is a fire crew chief. He was just getting ready to head back out.

Sunnyside Turnoff Fire 40% Contained

Jul 24, 2013

The Sunnyside Turnoff Fire near Warm Springs is now 40 percent contained. It's now more than 45 thousand acres according to an infrared flight Wednesday morning.

The loss of 19 firefighters in Arizona is sending a chill through the firefighting community in the Northwest. Fire season is about to begin here -- ushered in by a heat wave sweeping the region.

Word spread fast among wildland firefighters in the Northwest. “We are saddened but [must] honor our fallen by continuing with the job at hand,” wrote the hotshot crew out of Union, Ore., on Facebook.

Goodbye Rain, Hello Northwest Fire Season

Jun 27, 2013

Say goodbye to the rain. The Northwest and parts of Canada are about to see an abrupt shift from unseasonably cool weather to record-breaking temperatures, in some areas. Triple-digit highs are expected to settle over the region for the next week.

According to federal forecasters, it's going to be a tough wildfire season in the West. But here in the Northwest, it's been hard to see that prediction through all the rain.

Where you are in Idaho will determine your wildfire risk this summer. Fire officials gave their predictions Tuesday on what fire seasons will be like around the state. If you’re in southern Idaho you shouldn’t see the type of catastrophic wildfires we had last year.

My summer reading preferences are so particular they have, at times, stopped me from reading at all. I need a romance for a train trip — for obvious reasons. When it's hot, I prefer something with no climate congruence at all; I've never enjoyed Anna Karenina so much as I did on the beach (that romance is a train exception — er ... for obvious reasons). When I'm on a plane trip, I like a passel of good young-adult novels, filled with cliffhangers, reversals and quick emotion. It's a mood makeover in flight.

DNR Files Lawsuit In Taylor Bridge Fire

Jun 10, 2013
Courtney Flatt / EarthFix

The Washington Department of Natural Resources has filed a lawsuit against two companies it says caused a massive wildfire outside Cle Elum, Washington, last summer.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service / Wikimedia Commons

Federal budget cuts and above normal fire potential could mean a tough wildfire season in the West. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack got a look at the fire picture Monday at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise. Predictions indicate that Idaho, Oregon, California, Arizona, and New Mexico will have an above average fire season this summer.

Several forest fires are already burning in Western Washington and crews are mopping up a big one in central Oregon. There were also two grass fires that burned near Middleton, Idaho just west of Boise, this past weekend.

Dry winds and above average temperatures predicted this summer and fall, have fire managers preparing for an earlier than usual season.

Early Start To Central Oregon Fire Season

May 6, 2013

Fire season appears to be off to an early start in Central Oregon. Fire crews spent the weekend battling a wildfire near La Pine.

Photo by Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

An Idaho legislative committee Tuesday approved a bill to encourage teams of ranchers who would volunteer to fight rangeland fires. EarthFix reporter Aaron Kunz explains.

U.S. Forest Service

The U.S. Forest Service says the death of a 20-year-old firefighter in Idaho last summer was a “chance” occurrence. The new report is in sharp contrast to the findings of federal workplace safety investigators. Jessica Robinson reports.

Governor Jay Inslee made one of his first public appearances since his inauguration at a breakfast for the Capitol Land Trust in Olympia on Tuesday. Several hundred people gathered for the conservation group’s annual breakfast.

Six months ago Tuesday, Jan 8, a lightning strike ignited one of the largest fires in Oregon’s history. Amelia Templeton of Earthfix reports, ranchers who lost cattle and grazing land still haven’t received federal disaster aid.

Oregon Public Broadcasting

A new report from the U.S. Forest Service gives new details on a daring helicopter rescue at Pole Creek Fire last month outside Sisters. That review describes how a firefighter escaped oncoming flames by climbing into a helicopter's empty water bucket.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

A fire that burned roughly 250 acres in Mason County two weeks ago has been put out. Now biologists are concerned about the potential impacts on local salmon runs.

A fire that burned roughly 250 acres in Mason County last week has been put out. Now biologists are concerned about the potential impacts on local salmon runs. Ashley Ahearn reports for EarthFix.

The Forest Service and BLM say 2012 has been the worst fire season in the last 100 years. Oregon and Washington have reported fewer fires than average, but a record number of acres burned.

After The Fire, Bring On The Bugs

Oct 1, 2012
Photo Credit: USDA

Charred Northwest forests are already a-buzz with new life: bugs.

Photo Credit: Tom Banse

Ranches and feedlots are looking to cut their feed costs in the short term and even have an eye on making the cattle themselves more efficient.

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