wildfire

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.

Courtesy of Hanford contractor Mission Support Alliance

At the Hanford Nuclear Site in southeastern Washington, and across the West, winter’s deep snow and a cool spring have produced lots of brush and grass.

That’s a problem for the coming fire season.  

Hanford and the region surrounding it is a desert. Sagebrush and bunchgrass stud the site. But there’s also a lot of invasive cheatgrass that forms a brittle shag carpet across the landscape. And then there are drifts of tumbleweeds. The site’s a bit like an expansive fire starter. It’s all fine if there isn’t a spark.

Inciweb/National Wildfire Coordinating Group

From aviation contracts to deals with vendors and even seasonal hiring, the partial federal government shutdown is cutting into planning and preparation for the 2019 wildfire season in the Northwest.

Tom Banse / NW News Network

Nothing is simple when it comes to federal lands management. But in order to thin fire-prone forests — and to break legal and ideological gridlock — national forests in the Pacific Northwest are supporting collaborations with formerly adversarial interests.

InciWeb

Washington Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz is asking the state legislature to nearly double funding to manage and respond to wildfire.

Inciweb

An Australian newspaper is reporting that hunters shot at two firefighters from down under while they were battling the Miriam Fire near White Pass, Washington, but law enforcement has debunked the claim.

airnow.gov

Fires across the region have blanketed the Northwest in smoke. Blazes in California and British Columbia are also adding to the thick, reddish-gray haze.  

Inciweb - tinyurl.com/y9lbvuyc

  It was a wild weekend for wildfire in the Northwest. A cold front brought lightning and high winds -- but no rain -- to the region east of the Cascades already plagued by extremely dry conditions.

 

Photos courtesy of Icicle-Peshastin Irrigation District.

Outside of Leavenworth, Washington, crews have been working on a dam in trouble.