Wildfires

Rowan Moore Gerety / / Northwest Public Radio

The summer of 2015 was the worst wildfire season in Washington state history: three young firefighters died and hundreds of homes burned in blazes that sent more than a million acres up in smoke. For residents of central Washington, a gathering on Monday offered the first chance to come together and ponder the future in a region likely to see more and bigger fires in years to come. 

Tom Banse / / Northwest News Network

Talk about a big drone… Federal wildfire fighting agencies got a close-up look Wednesday at a remotely piloted helicopter that can fly through smoke or darkness to drop water or ferry supplies. 

TRACI WEAVER / NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

Firefighters are gaining the upper hand in containing the Canyon Creek Complex fires. But that’s not much relief to the wildfire’s worst-hit community. So far, 39 homes near John Day, Oregon, have been destroyed, along with around 50 barns, stores and other structures.

“We’ve had fires here before, but it’s always been in the woods never anything to this capacity,” John Day resident Tanni Wenger said.

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.

The U.S. Forest Service confirmed the names of three firefighters killed in a wildfire Wednesday night in Twisp, Washington.

Stuart Rankin / Flickr

Battling wildfire is not cheap and there’s little incentive to lower costs by changing how wildfires are managed. That’s the conclusion of WSU economist and professor Jonathan Yoder.

In a recent paper published in the Journal of Forestry, he and co-author Dean Lueck of the University of Arizona reported that part of the problem comes from inefficiencies in fighting fires. Those include the practice of dropping fire suppressant from the air – something which costs a lot of money but isn’t very effective.

Fire crews said Monday afternoon that the Douglas County Complex fire burning near Wenatchee, Washington, is at least 55 percent contained.

Looking For Fire Information? Start Here

Jul 8, 2015
InciWeb

Do you smell smoke? Are you just concerned about fires in your area? Finding good information during wildfire season is difficult, and not having it is stressful. But there are a lot of places online to find information about fires and smoke in the Northwest.

Michael MK Khor/FLIKR

Those in charge of fighting the nation’s wildfires are again asking drone owners not to fly their unmanned aircraft near fires. The plea comes after drones forced the suspension of two firefights last week in California.

The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise says aerial firefights on the San Bernardino National Forest on Wednesday and Thursday had to be put on hold until drones detected near the fire, stopped flying.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee declared a statewide drought emergency Friday.

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