Spokane County Fire Dist. 8 via Twitter

To keep Washington from facing another devastating fire season, Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz is asking the state legislature to create a dedicated fund for firefighting, forest restoration and community response.

Courtney Flatt / Northwest Public Broadcasting

Turning left off U.S. Highway 2 into the Moses Coulee Nature Preserve in central Washington, the land changes from crisp golden bunch grasses to ash. Flames have licked at the basalt cliffs on the sides of the coulee, leaving only black shadows on the rocky edges.

This rangeland burned in the massive Pearl Hill Fire on Labor Day weekend near Bridgeport. The flames then traveled into this prime sage grouse and pygmy rabbit habitat less than 24 hours later. Firefighters caught it at the highway.

Nevada Seismo Lab/webcam

Doug Coleman had just returned home after staying up for more than 24 hours. He was exhausted. He’d evacuated as the Cold Springs Fire came closer to his property. Flames quickly fanned across north-central Washington’s Okanogan County over Labor Day weekend.

Pacific NW Team 2 IMT

Well, the weather didn’t pan out as forecasters had hoped. That means smoke should stick around until the end of this week. And, it’s not only the skies that are choked with the unhealthy levels of smoke.

“The cleanest air in (Washington) right now is unhealthy, and everybody else is very unhealthy or hazardous,” said Lauren Jenks, Washington Department of Health assistant secretary for environmental public health. 

UPDATES: Count Shows Hundreds Of Homes Burned In Eastern Washington Fires

Sep 7, 2020
Spokane County Fire Dist. 8 via Twitter


-Red Cross: 509-670-5331

Cold Springs Fire Information (InciWeb)

Northwest Large Fires Map

Washington DNR Fire Info (Twitter)

Eric Risdal/USFS/InciWeb

Strong winds continue to push the Palmer Fire in north-central Washington north toward the Canadian border. It’s now several miles from the border and has grown to more than 11,000 acres. A helicopter with GPS tracking will soon help update the acreage numbers.

Crews made good progress near the Palmer Lake Lodge overnight Thursday into Friday. Firefighters were mopping up in the area and continued to protect buildings and reinforce fire lines. 

Courtney Flatt/NWPB

This year, Molly Linville and her husband David fixed up their truck. But it isn’t any old used vehicle. It’s meant to save lives and property.

At the end of the 2019 fire season, Linville scoped out the perfect surplus brush truck that would help them squash new fires on their ranch and at neighboring properties. Instead of hooking up hoses to irrigation lines, now they had wheels.

U.S. Forest Service

A firefighter who helped put out a recent wildfire in north-central Washington has been diagnosed with COVID-19. It’s the third state Department of Natural Resources firefighter diagnosis this fire season. 

In response, land managers are asking people to avoid starting fires to help keep crews safe.

Sheri Whitfield / U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

After two years of seeing a steady rise in the number of wildfires burning across Washington, the 2020 core fire season is looking to pull way ahead in wildfire starts. 

But this year’s unprecedented uptick in the number of fires has an unforeseen culprit: people cleaning their yards during the pandemic.

Inciweb/National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Blaine Vandehey spends his summers rappelling from helicopters into active wildfires. 

This is his 12th year in the U.S. Forest Service. And he’s worried about going to fire camp this summer with the menace of COVID-19.

Courtesy Amy Freel/GoFundMe

A Washington firefighter who was badly burned while fighting a fire over Labor Day weekend has died from his injuries. Christian Johnson, 55, had been flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after suffering burns over more than half of his body.



You might have noticed some smoky skies lately, particularly in the Inland Northwest from the Williams Flats Fire near Grand Coulee Dam

Still, the fire season so far has been relatively mild as far as large fires and region-wide smoke inundation go. But that could change in late summer and early fall, according to a recent federal report from the National Interagency Fire Center.

ANNA KING / NW News Network

It’s been a relatively quiet summer so far for Northwest wildland firefighters. But after a couple days of lightning storms in eastern and central Washington, paired with dry and windy conditions, more fires are starting to flare up.

For example, this scene Thursday when driving down Highway 26 in eastern Washington near Washtucna:

Scott A. Leadingham


One hot July afternoon, smoke began to fill the skies in North Central Washington. In the town of Pateros, it was so dark you might think it looked like midnight. But it was just nearing dinnertime.

The 911 calls streamed in. The Carlton Complex had reached the edge of town.

Franklin County Fire District 13

Updated Friday, July 19, 11 p.m. PT

A wildfire continued burning today near the Hanford Nuclear Site on and around the Hanford Reach National Monument. The Cold Creek Fire is burning sensitive, federally protected habitat. As of Friday evening it was estimated at nearly 42,000 acres and 60 percent containment.

Jule Gilfillan/OPB

Homes in one Central Washington city may be a little better protected from wildfires this season, thanks to a herd of goats.

In June 2015, the Sleepy Hollow Fire burned to the edge of Wenatchee. Flames rushed through, consuming brush and cheatgrass and quickly destroying 28 homes and three businesses.

ANNA KING/NW News Network

Fire crews in central Washington are battling one of the largest fires yet this year in the state.

The so-called 243 Fire in Grant County grew to an estimated 5,000 acres Tuesday after spreading overnight Monday. It’s just outside of Royal City, east of Vantage and Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River.