Wildfires

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. 

Northwest firefighters are keeping busy Wednesday attending to roughly a dozen new fires sparked by lightning storms.

Rik Rose / Flickr

Federal land managers have banned the use of exploding targets on public lands in the Northwest. The concern is wildfires.

Goodbye Rain, Hello Northwest Fire Season

Jun 27, 2013

Say goodbye to the rain. The Northwest and parts of Canada are about to see an abrupt shift from unseasonably cool weather to record-breaking temperatures, in some areas. Triple-digit highs are expected to settle over the region for the next week.

According to federal forecasters, it's going to be a tough wildfire season in the West. But here in the Northwest, it's been hard to see that prediction through all the rain.

Where you are in Idaho will determine your wildfire risk this summer. Fire officials gave their predictions Tuesday on what fire seasons will be like around the state. If you’re in southern Idaho you shouldn’t see the type of catastrophic wildfires we had last year.

Several forest fires are already burning in Western Washington and crews are mopping up a big one in central Oregon. There were also two grass fires that burned near Middleton, Idaho just west of Boise, this past weekend.

Dry winds and above average temperatures predicted this summer and fall, have fire managers preparing for an earlier than usual season.

Early Start To Central Oregon Fire Season

May 6, 2013

Fire season appears to be off to an early start in Central Oregon. Fire crews spent the weekend battling a wildfire near La Pine.

Oregon News Service

The U.S. Forest Service is reversing its policy to aggressively fight all wildfires. This change was announced in a letter from Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell last month.

Satellite image courtesy National Weather Service

The streak of dry weather in much of the Northwest is about to come to a soggy end. A weather system fueled by subtropical moisture is bearing down on the region.

The Forest Service and BLM say 2012 has been the worst fire season in the last 100 years. Oregon and Washington have reported fewer fires than average, but a record number of acres burned.

Northwest Fire Season Stretches Tribal Resources Thin

Oct 4, 2012
Inciweb

Fire crews are pushing back against a new blaze near Omak, Wash. The 5,000-acre wildfire on the Colville Indian Reservation has already destroyed two homes and forced other residents to evacuate. The Northwest’s busy fire season has taken a toll on tribal lands this year.

Vince Patton / OPB

About a dozen wildfires are still burning in the Northwest, keeping the air hazy and unhealthy. But experts predict few, if any, long-term health effects. Correspondent Anna King reports.

Northwest Fire Season Overlapping With Hunting Season

Sep 27, 2012
Dennis Stern / USFS Gila National Forest

Evacuation notices around the Northwest have subsided as fire crews beat back the threat of wildfire to homes and subdivisions.

Central Wash. Fire Crews Begin To Head Home

Sep 26, 2012
Michael Pennavaria / InciWeb

Crews are beginning to head home from the biggest wildfires that have been burning for the last two weeks in central Washington. But there are still more than 4,000 people working to contain the blazes on the east slopes of the Washington Cascades. That’s down about 800 from the peak workforce last weekend.

Firefighters Gain Upper Hand On Northwest Fires

Sep 25, 2012
Tom Iraci / InciWeb

Firefighters are making progress on several massive blazes around the Northwest. In Oregon, the Pole Creek Fire near Sisters is around 70 percent contained. Crews in central Washington are getting the upper hand on the 53,000-acre Wenatchee Complex, where another blaze flared up yesterday. And in Idaho fire bosses report minimal activity at the Mustang Complex along the Idaho-Montana border.

Surrounded By Wildfires, Schools Try To Keep Smoke Out

Sep 24, 2012

Wildfire smoke is becoming the “new normal” for some parts of the Northwest. In central Washington, health officials are urging residents to keep their doors and windows closed and stay inside. Bad air has forced at least one school district to take some unusual measures to keep class in session.

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