What Do Those Containment Numbers Mean?

Jul 29, 2014
Gila National Forest

The Carlton Complex Wildfire remains the largest in Washington’s history. As of Monday, it was 66 percent contained. But what does that number mean? It’s all about fire lines.

Josh O'Connor / Flickr

Fighting this summer's wildfires in eastern Washington has already cost more than $50 million. Washington state Governor Jay Inslee says we can expect even more expensive fires in the years ahead.


The lights are coming back on in fire-swept north central Washington. A major transmission line was restored late last week, but not everyone has their power back.

Carlton Complex Wildfire Now 55 Percent Contained

Jul 25, 2014
The National Guard / Flickr

A few days of cooler, wetter weather has been helping firefighters battling one of the largest wildfires in Washington state history.

National Interagency Fire Center

Fires continue to rage through tinder-dry wildlands in Oregon, Washington and California. Nearly a million acres have burned so far, destroying more than 200 homes.

With the nation’s eyes turned toward the Northwest, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden and the Obama Administration have taken the opportunity to renew their efforts to change how the federal government pays to fight -- and prevent – wildfires. From Jefferson Public Radio, Liam Moriarty explains.

Washington DNR / Flickr

Federal funds are being used to help fight the wildfires that have raged across the Northwest this summer. But so far, the Federal Emergency Management Agency isn't handing out money directly to owners of the nearly 200 homes lost in the blazes.

Northwest Interagency Coordination Center / Google

Washington Governor Jay Inslee says President Obama has pledged immediate federal aid to help fire-swept areas of north central Washington. That announcement came late Tuesday as Obama touched down in Seattle on a fundraising trip.

Firefighters Camped out in Winthrop

Jul 22, 2014
nex12go / Flickr

There's a small city of firefighters camped out on the grounds of Liberty Bell High School in Winthrop. Some 2,100 firefighters are living there as they battle the wildfire known as the Carlton Complex.

Carlton Complex Wildfire Update

Jul 22, 2014
Washington National Guard / Flickr

Firefighters battling the largest wildfire in Washington state have made significant progress since yesterday.

Here's How You Can Help Wildfire Victims

Jul 22, 2014
American Red Cross

Update 7/29: The Okanogan County Sheriff's Department says Okanogan County is no longer accepting donations of goods. They ask that people instead donate cash for the relief effort.

There are many opportunities to help those displaced by the Carlton Complex Fire in central Washington. Here are a few ways you can donate money or items.

Courtney Flatt / Northwest News Network

Update: You can give to the Red Cross or volunteer to help fire victims by visiting redcross.org/ewa or calling 509-663-3907

The Okanogan County Sheriff’s Department ordered more homeowners to evacuate this afternoon Monday. These newest evacuations come after firefighters saw a brief relief from high winds and hot weather Sunday. Correspondent Courtney Flatt visited donation centers in the region where people are turning for help.

Courtesy of WSDOT

Residents of the town of Brewster in Central Washington consider themselves lucky to have escaped with their lives after wildfires burned up to the edge of town Saturday.

Wildfire Season Hits Hard And Early

Jul 21, 2014
Brooke Nyman / Oregon Cattleman's Association

Veteran firefighters in Washington are saying it’s the worst fire season in decades. So far, more than 150 homes have been destroyed. And in neighboring Oregon, firefighters are stretched thin by more than a dozen blazes burning at once.

Some Of The Worst Fires In Northwest History

Jul 21, 2014
Library of Congress

The Carlton Complex Fire in Okanogan County is now the worst fire in Washington history. It has burned more than 238,000 acres of land, and is believed to have destroyed between 150 and 200 homes, killing one person. As firefighters work to contain the blaze, we’d like to take a look at some of the other fires that have raged across the Northwest to see how it compares.

Courtney Flatt / Northwest News Network

The most destructive wildfire currently burning in the Northwest has left thousands of people without air conditioning and refrigeration. It’s closed most gas stations and shut down ATMs in north-central Washington. Okanogan County currently estimates 150 to 200 homes burned to the ground. The County Utility District says its electrical system is almost a complete loss. Meanwhile, in Brewster last night, incident commanders of the region’s biggest and most destructive wildfire briefed residents Sunday night. Correspondent Courtney Flatt spoke with residents who are coping without power, and reports from that tense Brewster meeting.

    The wildfires burning in central Washington prompted another round of evacuations last night (Friday night). Sheriff's deputies urged residents around some edges of a sprawling fire in Okanogan County to leave. 

Courtesy of WSDOT

More than a dozen wildfires in eastern Washington and eastern Oregon continue to threaten homes and cause numerous road closures.

Ramella / NWPR

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee says 1,000 National Guard troops will take a crash-course in wildfire fighting so they can be deployed to central Washington fires. A blaze in Okanogan County that the governor calls a “firestorm” has destroyed around 100 homes. 


The wildfire situation in Washington state is so severe that 1,000 National Guardsman will get a crash course in firefighting. Washington Governor Jay Inslee says the troops are currently in Yakima for annual training.

Washington Towns Told To Evacuate As Fires Continue

Jul 17, 2014
Steve Ziel / InciWeb

Update from Sueann Ramella 3:56pm 7/18

Washington residents are urged to listen to emergency officials and evacuate as the Carlton Complex Fire and Chiwaukum Creek Fire continue to threaten homes. So far, more than 900 residents near Leavenworth were told to evacuate, and residents in the town of Pateros were also told to evacuate as these two large fires continue to grow destroying 100 hundred homes. The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) says:

“The first step is to listen to authorities and pack up and move out as quickly as you can, the next step is to contact your insurer if you’ve been asked to evacuate your home,” said Kenton Brine,PCI assistant vice president. “Generally, homeowners and auto insurance policies will cover property lost or damaged due to a wildfire, but it’s important to make that initial contact with your insurer to begin the recovery process if your home is destroyed by a wildfire.”

Update from Jessica Robinson 10:36 a.m. 7/18 

About 80 people woke up in a Red Cross shelter in central Washington this morning after a wildfire forced the town of Pateros to evacuate overnight. Initial reports are that 40 homes and a church have burned in the small town on the Columbia River.

Wildfires Blaze Their Way Across The Northwest

Jul 16, 2014
Oregon Department of Transportation

Wildfires continue to blaze around the region. Washington state has declared a state of emergency for 20 of its eastern counties. In Oregon, more than a dozen fires are burning right now, with the biggest concentration in the center of the state.

Oregon Fire Displaces Sprague River Residents

Jul 15, 2014
U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr

A wildfire near the south-central Oregon town of Sprague River has destroyed as many as 20 homes and burned 2,500 acres. Red Cross volunteers have set up in the community center to help the victims of the Moccasin Hill Fire.


Wildfires continue to rage around the Northwest. The Mills Canyon fire in central Washington has charred 35 square miles. In Oregon, the Moccasin Hill Fire has destroyed at least a half-dozen homes near Klamath Falls. Forecasters say weather conditions are ripe for more fires to develop in the coming days.


Triple-digit temperatures are expected to complicate the effort to battle a large wildfire in central Washington. The Mills Canyon blaze covers about 28 square miles north of Wenatchee. It's threatening hundreds of structures and has led to periodic closures of US Highway 97A. Keith Vradenburg is mayor of the small town of Entiat . He says the town is thick with both firefighters and smoke.


The Northwest is in the grip of a heat wave and this weekend it could push temperatures into the triple digits in parts of the region. That could make things difficult for firefighters battling flames on the front lines.

Philip Higuera / University of Idaho

Fire season has come alive here in the Northwest. On Monday 20 homes in Idaho's Sun Valley area were briefly under evacuation when a fire broke out in a nearby canyon. A 5,000-acre fire north of Wenatchee, Wash., continues to threaten houses in the area. Fires can be devastating to people's lives, but according to new research at least certain types of forests recovery fairly quickly.

Josh O'Connor - USFWS / Flickr

Northwest wildfire managers are keeping an eye on the weather with temperatures expected to peak in the triple digits in some areas over the next few days. Thousands of wildfires each year are caused by humans.

Boise National Forest

A scathing new report by a group of veteran wildfire experts says too little has been done to improve firefighter safety since an Arizona fire killed 19 firefighters a year ago. They're asking national wildfire managers to implement a series of changes aimed at putting safety above saving property.

Bureau of Land Management / Flickr

The wildfire season is off a slow start in the U.S. and in the Northwest. Numbers from fire mangers show total fires and the number of acres burned are well below the 10 year average.

The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise says so far this year the number of fires is down by nearly 30 percent, and the number of acres burned is down by about 60 percent compared to the 10 year average.

Washington Incident Management Team #2 / InciWeb

Hot and dry conditions are expected to create above-normal wildfire conditions in parts of the Northwest this summer. While relatively few people will have to flee the flames, many more will experience a side effect of the fires: thick, acrid smoke.