Northwest Wildfire

Fire Season Winding Down With First Day Of Fall

Sep 22, 2017

With the first day of fall, fire season seems to be winding down, but hundreds of crews are still at work in Oregon, Washington and Idaho shoring up fire lines.

In a sign that the wildfire threat is receding, hundreds of Washington National Guard soldiers are being demobilized and sent home over the next 48 hours. They were activated to help fight wildfires earlier this month.

This year’s intense wildfire season in Oregon has re-ignited a long-simmering debate at the state Capitol: How to manage forests in a way that doesn’t lead to infernos.

But the politics of wildfires are complicated.

Randy L. Rasmussen / ASSOCIATED PRESS

 


Federal authorities rejected pleas for firefighting help just as wildfire season was heating up according to Oregon Governor Kate Brown.

Washington National Guard soldiers and airmen are being called up to help with the rash of Northwest wildfires. Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency on Saturday because of wildfires, which cleared the way for the activation of the Guard. 

INCIWEB / ASSOCIATED PRESS

 


Investigators have identified a 15 year old male from Vancouver, Washington as a primary suspect in the Eagle Creek Fire burning across more than 32,000 acres in the Columbia River Gorge.

The forest fires raging in the Columbia River Gorge are unlikely to disturb adult coho salmon right now. But Northwest tribal fishers are worried about what will happen in the fall.

Wildfires Have Slowed But Remain Challenging In The Northwest

Aug 30, 2017
Capt. Leslie Reed/The National Guard / Flickr

 

Wildfires have burned almost half a million acres in the Pacific Northwest this year.

Oregon Town Under Pre-Evacuation Notice As Fire Conditions Worsen

Aug 25, 2017
U.S. Forest Service

The National Weather Service has issued a Fire Weather Watch for the Chetco Bar Fire area in Southwest Oregon.  

When Will The Smoke Dissipate?

Aug 8, 2017
Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

The wildfire smoke in Washington state has been extreme for days now, and many are wondering just when the air might clear out.





A state of emergency, excessive heat and an extended period of dry weather are unlikely to pair well with an influx of up to 1.5 million visitors in Oregon in two weeks.

Wildfire Threatens Scores Of Homes Near Wenatchee

Jun 27, 2017
Ben Torkelson / Associated Press

 

About 80 homes and structures in south central Washington are threatened by a fast-moving wildfire.

Washington state and the U.S. Forest Service signed an agreement last week that officials say will improve on-the-ground management of public lands susceptible to wildfire.

People who work for several federal agencies have scrambled in the early days of the Trump administration. They’re responding to orders that freeze hiring. Some orders to limit communication with the public have since been pulled back.

Mopping Up The Forest Floor

Oct 5, 2016

At the end of every wildfire, firefighters make sure burned areas are safe to leave. The process of cleaning up burned land is known as mopping up.

It is a long process - usually spanning several days - that ensures parts of a fire are completely extinguished. Firefighters do this in any area the fire already burned through, even if the fire is still active somewhere else.

Firefighters lit off two prescribed fires Thursday in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest in central Washington state. It’s part of a wider $800,000 state pilot project to prevent huge fires like the Carlton Complex two years ago.

  The Cayuse Mountain Fire has been the second largest in Washington state this summer. The blaze consumed 14 homes and displaced up to 50 people on the Spokane Indian Reservation. But the community is trying to get back to normal life.

Jennifer Duguay / NWPR

Private companies are essential in fighting the mega-wildfires that yearly burn through the backcountry and encroach on towns. One fire company in the Methow Valley is a family affair.

Cayuse Mountain Fire Information / Northwest News Network

Firefighters continue to slow the growth of a wildfire that’s threatening the Spokane Indian Reservation, and the town of Wellpinit . The fire is now about half contained. This weekend’s forecast has crews on edge.

A menacing wildfire continues to threaten an Indian Reservation 50 miles north of Spokane. But the blaze could have a positive impact on one local business.

Jennifer Duguay / NWPR

Wildland firefighters are a tight-knit group. After years of fighting fires together in the remote wilderness and on the edges of suburbia, you get to know a lot of people. And for one fire company in Washington’s Methow Valley, the bond is even stronger.

Fire officials say they are making good progress on the Cayuse Mountain fire burning on the Spokane Indian reservation, but they worry about what the weather may bring for the weekend. The Cayuse Mountain fire is holding steady at 18 thousand acres, and as of mid-day Thursday the fire is at 40 percent containment.

Inciweb

Washington Governor Jay Inslee was in Spokane Tuesday to meet with officials battling two wildfires north and south of the city. He also paid a visit to a handful of displaced barnyard animals.

Spokane, Washington, the state’s second largest city, found itself surrounded by flames Monday after high winds and heat Sunday caused the rapid spread of three separate wildfires.

Wildfire Season Blazes Into The Northwest

Aug 1, 2016

Several wildfires have broken out throughout Washington and Oregon this weekend after high heat, low humidity, and strong winds picked up.

About a dozen wildfires are currently burning around the Northwest. The Bybee fire is a small one at 50 acres. It is uncontained and sending up smoke on the west side of Crater Lake National Park in southern Oregon.

Editor’s note: Anna King’s reports from the 2015 wildfires in Washington state earned national recognition in breaking news and crisis journalism. We asked our Richland correspondent to reflect on fire, safety, and what’s changed over the years. --Phyllis Fletcher

If you're at the Gorge Amphitheatre in central Washington and there's a large wildfire -- you might want to consider missing the next set of your favorite band. Just on Sunday, a 600-acre wildfire raged about three miles from the main stage where Alabama Shakes and The Cure were playing.

A photographer from Wenatchee, Washington, has made a revealing discovery at the scene of a remote and long-abandoned fire lookout: a pile of very old firewood.

The Chelan and Okanogan Complex fires total more than 230,000 acres. Both fires still threaten more than 8,000 homes.

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