fire

Western US Faces Air Tanker Shortage

Jul 6, 2012

As wildfires continue to burn in the West, the U-S Forest Service is going to battle this summer with fewer air tankers. The number of planes that drop retardant on fires has shrunk significantly over the last 12 years. From Boise, Scott Graf has more now on what led to the shortage, and what’s being done to fix it.

Despite wildfires burning hundreds of homes in the last few weeks, the Cabinet member who oversees the U.S. Forest Service said [yesterday] Tuesday there have been fewer fires this year compared to this time last year. Tom Vilsack made the comments during a stop in Idaho. From Boise, Scott Graf has more.

Photo courtesy Washington Department of Natural Resources

Some firefighters from the Northwest have been sent to blazes across the West. But the firefighters still at home are playing the waiting game.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano visited Boise Tuesday. They toured the center that coordinates national wildfire response efforts.

Some firefighters from the Northwest have been sent to blazes across the West. But as Jessica Robinson reports, the firefighters still at home are playing the waiting game.

Washington’s Lands Commissioner is expected to declare the state’s first ever forest health hazard warning Monday. The formal declaration comes amid growing concern about the potential for a catastrophic fire – not unlike what we’ve seen in recent days in Colorado. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins reports.

Photo by Virginia Alvino / Northwest News Network

One small-town movie theater is looking for a happy ending to what could have been a horror story earlier this year. The historic Palace Theatre in Silverton, Oregon closed its doors after an April fire. But repairs are underway at the Depression-era movie palace. Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

Cody Crawford, the man charged in the firebombing of a Corvallis, Oregon mosque in 2010, will be released from jail Wednesday morning. Judge Thomas Coffin made the ruling after two court sessions Tuesday. KLCC’S Lucy Ohlsen was at the Federal Courthouse in Eugene.

Photo credit: David Johnson / Wikimedia Commons

Agriculture officials say fire season looks mild this year for Washington and Idaho, but that doesn’t mean they’re taking a backseat on preparedness.

Photo courtesy of www.inciweb.org

Some hard-to-read global weather patterns are making this year’s fire season difficult to forecast. That’s according to experts at federal agencies that track wildfires. But as best they can tell, the Northwest is in for a milder season than other fire-prone parts of the country.

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