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.


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.