U.S. Forest Service

Wildfires: It’s Not All Bad

Sep 26, 2016
InciWeb / http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/

After two devastating years of fires in the Northwest, it seems fire season brings only destruction. In 2014 and 2015 alone, more than half a million acres burned. But wildfires do have an upside.

More people from across the globe than ever are seeking to transform themselves on the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada. And as fall comes, the through-hiker season is wrapping up.

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.

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.

Amanda Peacher / Oregon Public Broadcasting

More than 100 people attended a Forest Service community meeting in John Day Tuesday, about last summer’s Canyon Creek Fire.

Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington

Heads of federal agencies in charge of wildfire fighting gave a briefing Tuesday on the upcoming wildfire season.

Kai Lehmann

The latest report card is out for the Northwest Forest Plan.  The landmark forest management plan covers more than 2 million acres of public lands in Washington, Oregon and California.

The newly-released 20-year monitoring report examines how well those federal forests are meeting economic and habitat restoration goals.

AP Images

The Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area is a 50-mile long sandbox stretching along the coast from Florence to North Bend . Giant dunes reach up to 500 feet tall and rolling hills of open sand can seem to stretch to the horizon.

But the dunes are in trouble. Invasive vegetation is quickly closing in, shrinking the open sand.

A new Forest Service plan addresses how off-road vehicles use the dunes.

It’s a quiet morning at the Oregon dunes. Usually, you’d hear the buzz of off-road vehicles here.

The National Guard / Flickr

A slow wildfire season in the U.S. means the Forest Service won’t have to dip into other parts of its budget to cover firefighting expenses. The federal government’s fiscal year ended Tuesday. As Scott Graf reports, it’s the first time in three years the agency’s firefighting allotment will cover actual costs. 

Rex Parker / Flickr

A federal agency under fire from free speech advocates and nature enthusiasts says it has absolutely no intention of charging people to take pictures on public land. The head of the U.S. Forest Service Thursday clarified a rule that’s been generating charges of government overreach.

Kevin Mooney

Remotely monitored video cameras are replacing some human fire lookouts on mountaintops around the Northwest. 

Shutdown Halts Logging On Northwest's National Forests

Oct 11, 2013
U.S. Forest Service

Loggers are packing up and leaving timber sales uncut across the Northwest. It's another effect of the partial government shutdown. Timber companies say even if a deal is reached soon at the nation's capitol, the effects from the logging hiatus could be felt all the way into next spring.

Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon

A photo snapped by a NASA Satellite this week captured huge plumes of wildfire smoke blanketing Southern Oregon. More than 50,000 acres of forest have burned there. In cities like Shady Cove and Grants Pass, the amount of particle pollution has reached unhealthy levels for more than a week.

The national debate over oil development took an unusual turn on an Idaho highway early Tuesday morning. For nearly two hours, members of the Nez Perce Tribe blocked the passage of a giant water evaporator headed for the oil sands of Alberta, Canada.

Rik Rose / Flickr

Federal land managers have banned the use of exploding targets on public lands in the Northwest. The concern is wildfires.

Judge Halts Timber Sale East Of Eugene

Mar 27, 2013

A federal judge has blocked a proposed logging project on the Willamette National Forest, saying the government must first do an environmental impact statement, or EIS.

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling Monday makes it harder for miners to gain access to Northwest rivers. Environmental groups hailed the decision as a major victory.

Oregon News Service

The U.S. Forest Service is reversing its policy to aggressively fight all wildfires. This change was announced in a letter from Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell last month.

Feds Issue Citations On Northwest Firefighter’s Death

Feb 12, 2013
Northwest News Network

A federal investigation into a firefighter's death last year in Idaho finds hazardous conditions that could have been prevented. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration, or OSHA , faults both the Forest Service and the private Clearwater-Potlatch Timber Protective Association for a number of workplace safety violations.

Smoke Creating Vicious Cycle In Northwest Skies

Sep 24, 2012
Jim Larson / Flickr

The fight against numerous large fires in central Washington is turning the corner. Since the weekend, fire bosses have been able to release nearly 400 firefighters from the blazes near Wenatchee. But forecasters say it may be a while before the Inland Northwest sees clear, blue skies again.