Burned Trees Pose Risk To Returning Evacuees

Aug 24, 2012
Liz Banse

Property owners in central Washington are confronting a common issue after wildfires: safety around charred trees.

Photo by Courtney Flatt / Northwest News Network

There’s been some speculation over the years as to how wind farms would hold up in the event of a large wildfire. Now, the verdict is in. From EarthFix, Courtney Flatt reports a central Washington wind farm was not damaged.

Scorched earth surrounds wind turbines just outside Cle Elum, Washington. A fire that drove through over the last week and a half destroyed more than 50 houses and has burned an estimated 23,000 acres. It did not burn 48 wind turbines.

Operations manager Eric Melbardis says gravel landscaping protected the turbines from the fire.

Taylor Bridge Wildfire Containment Delayed

Aug 23, 2012

Fire officials in central Washington are pushing back their timeline to fully contain the Taylor Bridge fire. They’d hoped to have the fire 100 percent contained by tomorrow. But now officials say early next week is more likely.

Last Stretch Of Taylor Bridge Fire Hard To Contain

Aug 22, 2012
Jessica Payne / Washington Department of Natural Resources

Fire crews in central Washington say they’ll need a couple more days to contain the last 10 percent of the Taylor Bridge fire. The blaze near Cle Elum, Wash., is 90 percent surrounded by fire lines, with full containment expected by Friday. The last open stretch of wildfire is in especially steep, rocky terrain.

Jessica Payne / Washington Department of Natural Resources

Firefighters in Central Washington are contending with heavy winds today as they try to get control of the Taylor Bridge fire near Cle Elum. Gusts of up to 30 miles per hour have been testing the fire lines. So far the blaze has scorched more than 23,000 acres, and crews have it 57 percent contained. More than 1,000 people are working to put out the blaze.

Crews Prepare As Fire Creeps Toward Idaho Town

Aug 21, 2012
Zane Brown / inciweb.org

Fire crews in southern Idaho are now at a standoff with a fire that’s surrounded the resort town of Featherville. It’s been clear for days that the town’s businesses and summer homes are in the path of the 90,000 acre Trinity Ridge Fire east of Boise. But fire managers say they have to wait for the blaze to creep to lower ground before crews can fight it head-on.

Jessica Payne / Washington Department of Natural Resources

Fire crews expect to contain the Taylor Bridge Fire in central Washington by Tuesday afternoon. Crews are now working in steep terrain on the northwest side of the blaze.

Photo courtesy Wash. Department of Natural Resources

Dramatic images of destruction from a central Washington wildfire this week haave prompted an overwhelming flood of donations to fire victims. So much that the state of Washington is urging well meaning donors to stop giving food and clothing and donate money instead. In Cle Elum, correspondent Courtney Flatt checked out the brimming donation centers.

Wash. Department of Natural Resources

Residents are returning to their homes as a wildfire burning in central Washington nears containment.

Bryan Flint / Wash. Department of Natural Resources

Fire bosses at the scene of a destructive wildfire in central Washington are letting more evacuees return to their homes Friday.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Over a hundred volunteers are helping to evacuate, sort and care for animals burned or displaced by the Taylor Bridge Fire near Cle Elum in Washington State.

Fire officials in central Washington are investigating whether construction at a bridge near Cle Elum sparked the 23,000 acre wildfire there. Incident commanders won’t say definitively what started the fire. But they do say the blaze was human caused and it began near the bridge construction site.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Emergency managers in central Washington have started to collect damage reports from businesses and homeowners affected by this week's destructive wildfire. That's a prerequisite to apply for federal disaster assistance. State fire investigators have established that the Taylor Bridge Fire was human-caused.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Fire officials have reduced evacuation levels for several areas around the Taylor Bridge Fire. But hundreds of displaced residents in central Washington's Kittitas County are waiting and wondering if their homes still stand. Many fled just in time. More than 70 structures have burned down.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Fire officials on the Taylor Bridge blaze near the mountain town of Cle Elum, Wash., are worried about the hot weather forecast for the next few days. Correspondent Anna King reports from the scene of the fire.

Fire Crews Report Progress Fighting Taylor Bridge Fire

Aug 15, 2012
Wash. Department of Natural Resources

Fire fighting officials in central Washington say it will take five to seven days to contain the Taylor Bridge fire near the town of Cle Elum. In a community meeting Wednesday, incident commander Rex Reed said the blaze has burned 22,000 acres. Previous estimates pegged the fire at more than 28,000 acres. It’s destroyed at least 60 structures.

About 900 firefighters are trying to contain the Taylor Bridge fire before it destroys more homes. It’s burning in central Washington near the town of Cle Elum.

Wash. Department of Natural Resources

The Taylor Bridge fire in central Washington is still keeping about 450 people from their homes near the town of Cle Elum. Some residents have remained, despite the heavy smoke from a fire that’s consumed 28,000 acres.

Massive Taylor Bridge Fire Still Burning

Aug 15, 2012
Wash. Department of Natural Resources

Fire management teams are hoping that additional air support and favorable weather conditions will help in the containment of the massive Taylor Bridge Wildfire east of Cle Elum.  The blaze has consumed some 60 homes and forced hundreds of people to evacuate.

Firefighters battling the massive Taylor Bridge Wildfire east of Cle Elum are hoping added air support and light winds will allow them to get containment up to 25 percent by this evening.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Dry winds and lots of fuel are making the Taylor Bridge Fire one of the most dangerous the state of Washington has seen in the last several years, said the Commissioner of Public Lands in a press briefing earlier this evening.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Heavy air tankers are dropping retardant on a stubborn wildfire still wreaking havoc in Washington’s Kittitas Valley.

Richelle Risdon / Kittitas County Emergency Management.

Firefighters called in from across Washington state are gaining the upper hand over a destructive wildfire in the Kittitas Valley. Crews with bulldozers are digging fire breaks, and helicopters continue to drop buckets of water on hotspots.


Prolonged hot and dry weather is amping up wildfire activity across the inland Northwest.

M. Stearly / InciWeb

A wildfire burning in southeastern Oregon has become the state’s largest blaze in more than a century. The Long Draw Fire has burned more than 800 square miles in southeast Oregon.

Despite wildfires burning hundreds of homes in the last few weeks, the Cabinet member who oversees the U.S. Forest Service said [yesterday] Tuesday there have been fewer fires this year compared to this time last year. Tom Vilsack made the comments during a stop in Idaho. From Boise, Scott Graf has more.

Feds’ Best Guess: Mild Fire Season For Much Of Northwest

Apr 26, 2012
Photo courtesy of www.inciweb.org

Some hard-to-read global weather patterns are making this year’s fire season difficult to forecast. That’s according to experts at federal agencies that track wildfires. But as best they can tell, the Northwest is in for a milder season than other fire-prone parts of the country.