wildfires

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.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network, 2014

Washington state may soon copy a rural wildfire fighting strategy that Oregon, Idaho and Nevada already employ: letting private ranchers attack range fires before the blazes get big.

Inciweb - tinyurl.com/y9lbvuyc

The National Guard is gearing up to help fight wildfire in eastern Washington, and Gov. Jay Inslee has declared a state-wide emergency.

Oregon Department of Forestry

From Bend, Oregon, to Ellensburg, Washington, there is a fire weather watch Friday for hot temperatures, low humidity and breezy weather.

Washington DNR

A large wildfire is burning outside of Naches, in central Washington state. The fire, called the Conrad Fire, started Sunday afternoon. It’s currently estimated at 5,200 acres and about 20 percent contained.

Roger Harnack / Inciweb - tinyurl.com/ydfc3bfe

Firefighters scrambled Sunday night at the Hanford nuclear reservation to corral a 2,800-acre wildfire. Hanford officials said the wildfire started Sunday evening.

Flickr Photo Courtesy Richard Kassan

A nearly 100 year-old dam near Leavenworth, Washington, is under heavy pressure from melting snow this week and officials are warning downstream residents to be prepared to evacuate if the dam breaks.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Tribes across the West are trying to restore their forests and grasslands to the way they were before white settlers arrived. Their goal is to return traditional foods like roots, huckleberries and big game.

But it’s a complex job.

Inciweb

Senator Maria Cantwell questioned the acting head of the U.S. Forest Service, Vicki Christiansen, this week. Among the senator's top concerns: there may not be enough air support for fires in the West this year.

U.S. Forest Service

In Seattle, there’s a national fire research lab where scientists have been working on a new computer model to better aid land managers as they predict how fires will behave and where smoke will go. But now that federal work’s been halted.

Stuart Palley / U.S. Forest Service

We’ve seen more wildfires burning into urban communities  lately. But there’s  a lot homeowners can do to protect themselves,  according to top scientists at the Missoula Fire Sciences Lab.

Thane Tuason / tinyurl.com/ybnkfmpf

Nearly 20 percent of people in Washington and 15 percent in Oregon speak a language other than English at home. Emergency managers from around the West are grappling with how to reach people in foreign languages in the midst of a disaster. A new Washington state law seeks to raise the bar.

National Park Service

Forests and grasslands in Eastern Washington state are at high risk for large, intense wildfire. This spring Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife plans to using controlled burning on more than 1,000 acres in Okanogan, Ferry and Pend Oreille counties.

Swanson Scott / USFWS - tinyurl.com/yaerker7

The new person in charge of regional firefighters at the U.S. Forest Service has called for an increase in prescribed fire and a change in attitude about wildfires.

Inciweb

The long-range forecast for the upcoming wildfire season in the Northwest is out. And even though Oregon and Washington are in the same region, forecasts for the individual states are pretty different.

Emily Schwing / Northwest News Network

It may still be wet and muddy out there, and snow may even be on the ground in some places, but it’s also the time of year when wildland firefighters start to gear up for hot, dry weather and wildfires.

Inciweb

The wildfires that burned through the Pacific Northwest this past summer caused hazy skies throughout Washington and Oregon. Air pollution from tiny particles released by fire is a known health hazard.

New research from Colorado State University is trying to quantify the effect on human health.

Dicklyon / Wikimedia - tinyurl.com/ycvcmeok

October's California wine country wildfires damaged more than 30 wineries. Now, the Northwest wine industry and wine drinkers are stepping up to with their wallets to help.

Inciweb

The wildfires are largely out in places like the Columbia River Gorge and the south Oregon coast, but the economic fallout continues in many nearby Oregon communities. That was the message Tuesday during a meeting of the Oregon House Committee on Economic Development.

U.S. Forest Service

Some insurance companies are choosing not to renew policies in wildfire-prone areas of the inland Northwest. That’s sending home owners scrambling to find new coverage for their properties.

Sgt. Jodi Eastham / U.S. Army National Guard

In a sign that the wildfire threat is receding, hundreds of Washington National Guard soldiers are being demobilized and sent home over the next 48 hours. They were activated to help fight wildfires earlier this month.

State Government Adapts As Wildfires Take Their Toll

Sep 12, 2017
Inciweb

This year’s intense wildfire season in Oregon has re-ignited a long-simmering debate at the state Capitol: How to manage forests in a way that doesn’t lead to infernos.

But the politics of wildfires are complicated.

Insitu

One of Boeing Defense subsidiary Insitu's 45-pound high-tech unmanned aircraft joined the fight against the Eagle Creek fire this weekend.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

The Eagle Creek fire has littered a section of Interstate 84 in the Columbia River Gorge with fallen trees and rocks and there are scores more hazard trees that should be cut. 

Oregon's Department of Transportation says will the freeway will stay closed at least through the weekend—possibly longer.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Federal workers say they are trying their best to keep the water flowing and the power going at Bonneville Dam in the Columbia River Gorge despite the wildfires.

Inciweb

Wildfires have consumed more than 500,000 acres in Oregon so far this year according to the Oregon Department of Forestry. The number includes blazes on both public and privately-owned land.

Washington National Guard

Washington National Guard soldiers and airmen are being called up to help with the rash of Northwest wildfires. Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency on Saturday because of wildfires, which cleared the way for the activation of the Guard. 

Inciweb

The forest fires raging in the Columbia River Gorge are unlikely to disturb adult coho salmon right now. But Northwest tribal fishers are worried about what will happen in the fall.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Several uncontrolled wildfires in the Columbia River Gorge burning near Bonneville Dam are challenging the Bonneville Power Administration.

Scott Leadingham / Northwest Public Radio

While Labor Day marks the end of the summer to many people, conditions remain hot and very dry. That means wildfire season is far from over. 

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