Disasters and Accidents

Disasters and Accidents

InciWeb

The same weather patterns that are making the Rim Fire a challenge for firefighters in California have been moving up through parts of the Northwest. Specifically, through central Idaho. Fire managers say the forests there are ripe for fire, and more lightning is in the forecast this week.

The fact that massive fires are raging both in California and in Idaho is no coincidence, according to Robyn Broyles. She's with the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise.

Spc. Matthew Burnett, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment. An Oregon Army National Guard Blackhawk helicopter prepares to dump a "Bambi" bucket of water on a fire line near The Dalles, Ore.

Weather forecasters are predicting more lightning throughout the Northwest over the next few days. That could make things tougher for fire fighters, who are already battling several large wildfires throughout the region.

Jessica Robinson. The Ketchum Grill was among the few businesses in town that stayed open throughout the evacuations. Business remains down.

Not everyone fled Sun Valley, Idaho, when the huge Beaver Creek wildfire threatened the swanky 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 Fire Renews Push For Homeowner Vigilance

Aug 21, 2013
InciWeb. Fire crews clear out vegetation near buildings around the Greenhorn Guard Station in Blaine County, Idaho.

The fire raging near Sun Valley, Idaho, is serving as a wake-up call for homeowners in fire-prone areas across the Northwest. The 106,000-acre Beaver Creek Fire has burned one house.

And fire managers say it’s lucky they didn't lose more.

Steven Garman lives outside of Ketchum, Idaho. He's a retired firefighter. Garman says like many homes in the area, his house was not designed to be fire resistant.

Sun Valley Businesses Worry About Fire's Economic Impact

Aug 21, 2013
InciWeb. Map showing the progression of the Beaver Creek Fire

Businesses around Sun Valley, Idaho worry the massive Beaver Creek fire will have a big impact on the tourist-dependent economy of central Idaho. Several events have already been canceled because of the blaze.

This is the new worry by business owners. First of course was the threat of fire. And now there’s the threat of fire or at least the perceived threat of it will continue to keep away tourists through a really crucial part of their business cycle.

Crews Taking Offensive On Idaho's Beaver Creek Fire

Aug 20, 2013
InciWeb. The Beaver Creek Fire in Idaho is still a long way from being contained.

The estimated cost of fighting Idaho’s Beaver Creek Fire now tops more than $11 million. Fire crews near Sun Valley, Idaho say the blaze has become manageable but is a long way from contained.

The mood at Baker’s Spike camp has changed almost over night. There is now a feeling of optimism. Crews are feeling like they can take an offensive stance against the fire instead of a defensive one. They have enough resources now where they can plan ahead and anticipate where the fire might go next, while they’re also attacking the fire.

Colin Fogarty / Northwest News Network

Fire crews outside of The Dalles, Ore. are still trying to get a handle on a wildfire complex that’s destroyed two homes and five outbuildings. It’s burned more than 6,400 acres and is only 10 percent contained as of Tuesday afternoon.

The blazes are on steep terrain. That’s made it difficult for crews to make progress. In fact, they’ve lost some ground because of high winds.

Len DIaz, Washington Interagency Incident Management Team. Crews monitor burnout operations in the area of the Colockum Tarps Fire

With wildfires still raging across the Northwest, fire managers are turning to private fire-fighting crews in increasing numbers. One private industry group says private contractors are responsible for a surprising 40 percent of firefighters on the ground in the region.

Both the U.S. Forest Service and the Oregon Department of Forestry said that 40 percent figure sounds about right. But the shift didn't happen overnight.

Rogue River Re-Opens As Fire Threat Diminishes

Aug 12, 2013
InciWeb. Firefighters working on the Big Windy Fire raft down the Rogue River.

Rafters can once again try their luck shooting the rapids on a popular southern Oregon river.

The Rogue River re-opened to pleasure-seekers Monday after weekend rains tamped down some wildfires in the area. The nearly two-week closure was a major economic hit to businesses that specialize in river recreation.

Pete Wallstrom owns Momentum River Expeditions. He says his first guided trip down the Rogue won't be until Thursday as staffers try to get hold of people who canceled their trips.

InciWeb. Lightning at the Mile Post 10 Fire

Torrents of mud and debris have closed three roads near Wenatchee in central Washington. The landslides were caused by thunderstorms on Sunday, along with wildfire damage. The mudflows have hampered firefighting efforts on the Mile Post 10 fire, which has grown to 6,000 acres since Friday.

Some residents and fire trucks were stranded. Rick Isaacson is an information officer for Chelan Fire District 1. He says it’s been a pretty tough couple of weeks. “If I lived up there I’d be on vacation in Hawaii for about three weeks. And just leave it at that. If I could.”

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