Wildfires

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. 

InciWeb

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.

InciWeb

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.

InciWeb

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.

InciWeb

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.

Washington Incident Management Team #2 / InciWeb

Workers in the Tri-Cities, Wash. area got notice Wednesday of tinder-dry conditions at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and were advised to practice fire safety at work and at home. It’s about four weeks ahead of schedule for these types of fire-weather alerts and a sign of a long, hot summer ahead.

Famartin / Wikimedia

The study is by the think tank Headwaters Economics, based in Bozeman, Mont. Researchers looked at what are known as “firewise” communities. Rural homeowners are encouraged to do things like clear brush around their homes and replace wood shingles with a metal roof.

InciWeb

It may be hard to believe, but wildfire season officially starts on April 15 in Washington state. In Oregon and Idaho, there's a rolling start to fire precaution rules depending on local conditions. 

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Fighting wildfires would be funded more like hurricane and flood response under a proposal out of the Northwest that won President Obama's endorsement . The plan is being advanced by a bipartisan team of Oregon and Idaho senators in reaction to the growing cost of massive wildfires.

Wildfire season is not over yet, despite the widespread rains of the last couple weeks.

Jessica Robinson

Not everyone fled Sun Valley, Idaho, when a huge wildfire threatened the resort area. Many locals remained in the surrounding communities and kept the stores, restaurants and gas stations open. Now, firefighters are gaining the upper hand. The smoke is clearing. But without the return of vacationers, many locals worry the real disaster is economic – and that one is just beginning.

Beaver Creek Update: Nearly 10,000 Homes On Evacuation Alert

Aug 19, 2013

More resources continue to pour into Idaho’s central mountains to fight a growing wildfire that has now consumed more than 150 square miles, or roughly the size of Detroit.

You may know that on a hot, sunny day it’s better to be sitting in a white car than a black one. White reflects sunlight, while black absorbs more of it.

The same concept applies to researchers trying to figure out what effect wildfires have on climate change. And part of the answer is whether the smoke particles are dark or reflective.

The Blue Mountain Eagle

Nearly a dozen wildfires continue to send up plumes of smoke across the Northwest.

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.

BLM Oregon

Governor Kitzhaber and both Oregon US senators received a briefing Saturday in Glendale on the wildfires burning in Southern Oregon. Local, state, and federal agencies informed community members and state legislators on the status of the Douglas Complex Fires.

Falling Tree Kills Firefighter In Central Oregon

Aug 2, 2013
Mary R Bernsen

Authorities are identifying the wildland firefighter who was killed Thursday outside the town of Sisters as John Hammack of Central Oregon. Another firefighter was injured in the accident and was taken to a local hospital. 

Washington Incident Management Team #2 / InciWeb

A wildfire near Goldendale, Wash., is blackening grasslands, shrubs and forests along Highway 97. It’s called the Mile Marker 28 Fire.

Fire On Warm Springs Reservation Expected To Grow

Jul 22, 2013

Warm Springs' Kah-Nee-Ta Resort and Spa remains closed today as firefighters continue battle a large wildfire on the Warm Springs Indian reservation. 

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