Fires burning across Washington state have grown to about 390,000 acres and killed three firefighters. Now elected officials are asking the Obama administration for federal money to help fight them.

Feds Pressure Obama Administration for Emergency Funds

Aug 20, 2015
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Officials praised firefighters for their dedicated and dangerous work on the front lines in Washington State today.

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Three Firefighters Killed Battling Wildfire In Twisp

Aug 19, 2015
Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

Three firefighters have been killed battling a wildfire in North Central Washington.

Correspondent Anna King brings us the sound of the front lines of the First Creek fire near Lake Chelan in north central Washington state.

Fires continue to burn around Lake Chelan in central Washington with the smoke now visible from space. Firefighters have the Chelan Complex fires about 60 percent contained but they're still battling other blazes and its unclear when all fires will be under control.

Copyright 2015 Boise State Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.boisestatepublicradio.org.



FEMA Photo Library / Wikimeida Commons

As fires continue to burn through most of the Inland Northwest, people are looking for ways to help.

Where's The Rain In All These Thunderstorms?

Aug 19, 2015
Flickr user 'not on your nelly'

There are many large fires burning across the Northwest – many of them sparked by lightning. But thunderstorms that bring lightning should also mean rain. So why isn’t the rain dampening these fires?

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In addition to a request to provide US Military personnel for firefighting duty in the Northwest, fire officials says they have an option to get more aircraft to use as tankers. 

The Chelan Complex fires have grown to more than 112,000 acres and still have Lake Chelan surrounded. The air is so filled with smoke the horizon of the lake is no longer visible from the south end.

The Chelan Complex Fire in central Washington has now topped 100,000-acres and about 3,000 people have been evacuated.

Fires Crews Busy In NE Washington

Aug 17, 2015
Incident Information System

Fire crews are stretched to the limit battling blazes in Northeast Washington.

In Ferry County, about 300 firefighters are on the scene of the Stickpin fire near Curlew Lake, which is at 35,000 acres with no containment.

On the Colville Indian reservation, the 25,000 acre North Star fire threatens about 40 homes.

Near Lake Roosevelt, a fire that started on the Spokane Indian reservation has destroyed five homes, but threatens about 100 others. That fire is one of three that makes up the Stevens county complex of fires.

The US military will provide 200 active duty Army troops to help fight wildfires.  The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise announced Monday the soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord will begin training Wednesday and could be ready as soon as Sunday. 

It’s the first time in nine years that active duty troops have been called on to help with fire efforts.  New, large fires across the West have stretched resources unusually thin. 

Ken Frederick, a spokesman with the fire center, says fire managers are even looking overseas for help.

Fires continue to burn around Lake Chelan in central Washington Monday. Nearly 3,000 residents have been evacuated so far and dozens of homes have burned as firefighters struggle to gain any control over the blaze.

The Army is deploying 200 soldiers to help fight wildfires that are burning through about 1.1 million acres across the Western United States. That's according to a press release from the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho.

"It's been nine years since wildfire was so widespread all at once that active military troops joined firefighters battling blazes," NPR's Howard Berkes reports. "Four military C-130 cargo planes are also in use as air tankers."

More than 700 firefighters are attacking fires in Central Washington. The "Reach Complex" fires have forced evacuations, burned at least 25 structures and surrounded the popular vacation area of Lake Chelan.

Fires Around Lake Chelan Now Cover 60,000 Acres

Aug 15, 2015
Rowan Moore Gerety / Northwest Public Radio

Four separate wildfires have burned together in Central Washington, claiming several structures including homes and commercial properties near Lake Chelan. The fires have led to evacuations and road closures, and left nearly 10,000 people without power. 

One thousand firefighters are fighting the Blue Creek Fire Thursday about eight miles outside of Walla Walla, Washington.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Four hundred firefighters attacked the Blue Creek wildfire 10 miles east of Walla Walla Tuesday. The wind and dry ground let it grow up to 4,200 acres.

The Blue Creek wildfire 10 miles east of Walla Walla, Washington, has grown to 4,200 acres and is growing to the southeast.

A wildfire about 10 miles east of Walla Walla, Washington, grew to the southeast Tuesday afternoon. The close proximity to town means some people are driving by to get an up-close look at the fire.

Walla Walla County expects more than 400 personnel on the scene of a growing fire ten miles east of Walla Walla by Tuesday afternoon.

A fire that started Sunday afternoon jumped lines around noon Monday and burned across Interstate 90 near George, Washington. The fire has grown to about 900 acres, but so far no structures have burned.

A remote mountain village on the Northwest end of Lake Chelan in Washington state, was braced for an evacuation order because of wildfire Monday night.

nikia / Flickr

There is promising news on the Little Spokane fire burning just north of Spokane, even as the region is braced for dry lightning and winds in the weather forecast.

Rowan Moore Gerety / Northwest Public Radio

The Finnish hew saw at Duane Vaagen’s mill can make two two-by-fours from a tree no thicker than a loaf of bread. “The magic,” he says, as logs rattle by and emerge seconds later as finished lumber, “is being able to turn such small diameters into a high-quality, finished product."

Idaho Governor Butch Otter issued a disaster declaration Monday for two north Idaho counties dealing with a fast-growing wildfire.