Wildfires

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.

Smoke Creating Vicious Cycle In Northwest Skies

Sep 24, 2012
Jim Larson / Flickr

The fight against numerous large fires in central Washington is turning the corner. Since the weekend, fire bosses have been able to release nearly 400 firefighters from the blazes near Wenatchee. But forecasters say it may be a while before the Inland Northwest sees clear, blue skies again.

Kyle Miller / Red Cross

Washington state's Department of Health has shipped more than 20,000 face masks to central Washington towns blanketed by wildfire smoke. Air pollution monitors in Wenatchee, Ellensburg and nearby towns are consistently showing the air is hazardous to breathe.

Vladimir Steblina / USDA Forest Service

In central Washington, fire commanders report progress securing fire lines and limiting the spread of wildfires in the direction of threatened homes. But smoky air continues to stress thousands of people in Wenatchee, Cashmere, Entiat and Chelan.

Vladimir Steblina / USDA Forest Service

The wildfire situation in central Washington continues to worsen. A complex of lightning-sparked fires north of Ellensburg has grown to more than 30,000 acres. Mandatory evacuations are in place near Liberty, Wash., along Highway 97.

Vladimir Steblina / USDA Forest Service

A tree faller assigned to a wildfire burning north of Wenatchee has died. The U.S. Forest Service says the man became ill Monday afternoon from an unspecified cause. He was transported to a hospital where he later died.

Fires Not All Bad For Local Economies

Sep 14, 2012
U.S. Forest Service

Crews continue to make progress on several wildfires in central Washington. State health officials say the air is smoky enough around Wenatchee to be unhealthy for people with sensitive respiratory systems.

Fire Officials Look To Fall Weather For Respite

Sep 14, 2012
Salmon-Challis National Forest

Idaho’s forest fires have claimed 1.5 million acres this year, from more than 1,000 separate fires.

Weather Helps Central Wash. Fire, But Not For Long

Sep 13, 2012
Wenatchee Valley Rappellers

Smoke in central Washington is so thick schools sent kids home early in the town of Cashmere. They’ll start two hours later Friday.

Smoke Continues To Create Haze In Central Washington

Sep 13, 2012
National Weather Service

Smoke continues to create a haze over central Washington. Several wildfires are burning near Wenatchee. Correspondent Jessica Robinson reports from the scene.

Residents Report Central Washington Smells Like Smoke

Sep 13, 2012
Photo by user Teresia / Flickr

The smell of smoke hangs in the air across much of central Washington Wednesday. At least four significant wildfires are burning around Wenatchee, making the skies hazy. Vicky Cibcki works at the Anjou Bakery near the town of Cashmere.

Central Wasington Communities Cope With Smoke

Sep 12, 2012

The smell of smoke hangs in the air across much of central Washington Wednesday. At least four significant wildfires are burning around Wenatchee, making the skies hazy.

The Wenatchee Complex wildfire is sending a thick blanket of smoke through the Central Washington town. Some residents of Wenatchee and nearby communities have fled their homes. Several fires have combined to make a more than 1,000-acre blaze in the hills near town. A lightning storm Saturday night started more than two dozen fires in the area; many are still burning.

It's a hot dry day for fire fighters battling blazes along Route 141 in Washington, just north of White Salmon. Forty-five homes have been evacuated since Wednesday afternoon. Other homeowners have been notified they need to be ready to evacuate on short notice.

U.S. Forest Service

Two hunters who were reported missing during a wildfire in eastern Oregon have been located and are safe. But Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer says there's new concern about a pair of hikers who are thought to be in the vicinity of the Parish Cabin Fire.

Fire Keeps Idahoans From Favorite Summer Getaway Spot

Aug 24, 2012
Boise National Forest

A cold front moving through the Northwest is expected to do more harm than good for fire crews battling massive blazes in southern Idaho. Forecasters predict very low humidity on top of winds that could reach 30 miles per hour.

Pages