Northwest News

Northwest Public Radio is a participant and contributor in the Northwest News Network (N3), a collaboration of public radio stations in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Our reporters bring a regional perspective to coverage of Northwest states' government, environment, economy, and other news of widespread interest to residents of the Northwest. Regional news on Northwest Public Radio is a part of Morning Edition every weekday morning, and All Things Considered in the afternoons.

Escaped Juvenile Inmate Expected To Survive

Aug 24, 2015

The Chelan County Sheriff's Office said a juvenile inmate who escaped from the fire lines in north central Washington and shot himself in the head is expected to survive.

Weather Could Cause Trouble For Washington Fire Crews

Aug 24, 2015

Weather is expected to cause more problems Monday for fires in north central Washington. The Okanogan Complex is burning more than 250,000 acres.

Courtney Flatt / Northwest Public Radio

An investigation into what caused the deaths of three firefighters and injured four others last week in North Central Washington is just beginning. This fire is now part of the Okanogan Complex, which has burned nearly 375 square miles.


Firefighters are gaining control of the Canyon Creek Complex. It’s still growing, but there’s little danger to homes as most of the blaze is moving into the wilderness. In John Day, Oregon, Ashley Stewart reports.

Officials say firefighters made “great progress” overnight. The blaze has grown slightly to more than 69-thousand acres. Now, it’s 23 percent contained – that’s up from 17 percent on Saturday. For now, most homes are safe as the wildfire moves away from town and into the county’s wilderness area.

A juvenile inmate helping fight wildfires in North Central Washington escaped Friday after allegedly assaulting a staff member. Officials have said the inmate no longer poses a threat to the community. Courtney Flatt has more. 

The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that the escaped inmate was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The inmate had stolen a gun the previous night.  

Courtney Flatt

Fires in North Central Washington are continuing to threaten homes and buildings. Thousands of people are still under evacuation orders. But calming winds have helped slow the fires’ progress. 


As of Sunday at noon, the fires in North Central Washington covered more than 140,000 acres, but the two largest – Chelan Complex and Wolverine – are more than 30% contained.Here’s what we know as of Sunday at 12 PM:

Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

What’s happening with the Okanogan Complex Fire?

As of 5 PM Saturday, the five fires in the Okanogan Complex covered more than 227,000 acres – primarily due to Friday’s expansion to the south on the Tunk Block fire, fanned by strong winds blowing north to south. 

Paige Browning / Spokane Public Radio

President Obama’s emergency declaration for Washington unlocks federal firefighting tools. U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell applauded the declaration during a stop in Spokane Friday, but says the state still needs aerial resources.

Firefighting: A Dangerous Profession

Aug 21, 2015
AP Images

Three firefighters died Wednesday in Washington state when flames apparently overtook their vehicle after it crashed. Four other firefighters were hurt.