Wildfires

Drones
7:47 am
Fri October 3, 2014

Oregon, Washington Hope To Use Drones For Wildfire Recon In 2015

File photo of a ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicle

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 9:12 pm

Both Oregon and Washington’s state forestry departments had hoped to try out drones this summer to provide reconnaissance at wildfire scenes. But neither firefighting agency managed to pull it off. Now both plan to try again next year.

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Northwest Wildfires
6:39 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Forest Service Comes In Under Budget Due to Slow Fire Season

Fires burn near Ashland, Ore., in this aerial view of the Oregon Gulch fire, August 5, 2014.
Credit 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. 

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Media on Public Land
5:57 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Media Vow To Fight Rule Requiring Permit To Film On Public Land

A view of the Middle Fork Salmon River in the Frank Church, River of No Return Wilderness, Idaho.
Credit Rex Parker / Flickr

The U.S. Forest Service is developing a rule that would let it decide whether the media could film in wilderness areas, or take photos there. Broadcasters say the rule gives the government too much control over the content of news stories.

The Forest Service would issue permits based on the potential impact to wilderness areas as well as the story topic.

A fee of up to $1,500 could also be required to receive a permit.

Ron Pisaneschi is the general manager of Idaho Public Television. He says he and other broadcasters are prepared to fight the rule.

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Wildfire Funding
4:53 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Washington State’s Largest Wildfire Not Enough To Merit More Federal Assistance

A rancher surveys the fire damage in the Methow Valley near Twisp, Wash.
Credit Anna King / Northwest News Network

Washington State’s worst fire season was not bad enough to warrant more federal assistance. People of the Methow Valley and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation were hoping for more money to rebuild hundreds of lost homes and livelihoods.

In the Methow Valley there’s now a housing shortage. The state estimates somewhere around 350 homes were burned down. Now, families are trying to stay near their jobs, the people they know or schools.

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Northwest News
8:23 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Long-Running Battle Between Ranchers And Feds Over Fires Reaches Truce

A water tender for fighting wildfires is parked next to rancher Charlie Lyon’s barn near Mountain Home, Idaho
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

For years there's been a battle raging between Idaho ranchers and the federal government over whether ranchers should be able to fight wildfires. Get out there, with their trucks and tanks of water and try to put the fires out themselves. Ranchers say they've always done it. The Feds have said, leave it to the pros and don't make yourself a liability. At times it's almost come close to blows. But now a truce has been struck. And as correspondent Jessica Robinson reports, it could change the way fires are fought every summer.

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Northwest Fires
6:38 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Oregon Fire Season 'Continues To Push And Challenge'

The 36-pit fire is burning outside of Estacada, Oregon.
Credit sean dreilinger / flickr

A wildfire southeast of Portland has grown to more than 3,500 acres and threatens more than 160 homes. Firefighters are expected to catch a break from the hot, dry conditions for a few days until the next round of warm weather moves into the region this weekend. The "36 Pit" fire is just the latest in a series of large fires in the Northwest this summer. 


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Wildfires
6:37 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Models Project 3X Increase In Probability Of Large Fires In The Northwest

Credit National Interagency Fire Center

Fire season in the Northwest is winding down for this year.

But scientific models suggest that with climate change, the region can expect more large wildfires in the future.

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Wildfire Help
6:30 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Washington State To Feds: We Need More Help To Recover From Wildfires

Kent Stokes, outside of Twisp, Wash., surveys the damage of his burnt-down home and shop.
Credit Anna King

In north-central Washington people are trying to get back to normal. But that’s pretty hard with a major housing shortage after more than 350 homes were lost to wildfires. 


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Fire Lookout Cameras
6:17 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Remotely Monitored Video Cameras Replace Some Human Fire Lookouts

Fire Lookouts Still Standing Known to be staffed
Kevin Mooney

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


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Wildfires and Cattle
7:35 am
Mon September 8, 2014

It’s Always Been Home: Sticking It Out After Fire And Mud In Washington’s Methow Valley

Kent Stokes, 28, of Twisp, surveys the ruins of his large shop and home. Stokes was only able to save some of his valuables before the Carlton Complex fires burnt down his place. Stokes estimates his family lost about 20,000 acres of grazing land in the fires this year.
Credit Anna King

In Washington state, an estimated 500 to 600 cattle have been lost in dramatic wildfires this summer. Kent Stokes is a fifth-generation rancher. His family lost hundreds of head in the Carlton Complex fires near Twisp in north-central Washington.

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