Disasters and Accidents

Disasters and Accidents

Oregon Chapter of Surfrider Foundation

Hotline calls and emails to report suspected Japanese tsunami debris have gone way down this year. But West Coast states are still keeping their guard up in case another wave of flotsam from the 2011 disaster washes up on our shores.

Ryan Lancaster / Spokane Public Schools

An estimated 1.2 million people in the Northwest took part in an international earthquake drill Thursday.

RJ Landa / USGS

Name the volcano that geologists consider the most dangerous in the Northwest.


Wildfire season is not over yet, despite the widespread rains of the last couple weeks.


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.