Washington wildfires

Wildfire Danger
2:08 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Washington Evacuees Have Dealt With Fires Before, But ‘Not Like This’

Flames shoot from behind a house during a wildfire Friday, July 18, 2014, near Pateros, Wash.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Gov. Jay Inslee says 1,000 National Guard troops will take a crash course in wildfire fighting so they can be deployed to central Washington fires. A blaze in Okanogan County that the governor calls a “firestorm” has destroyed around 100 homes.

Inslee says the troops are currently in Yakima for annual training.

"We're lucky, because they are on duty and in a place they can be trained. So we are going to bring trainers from the Department of Natural Resources to train them as rapidly as possible to be available — not just now, but for the rest of the summer," he said. 

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Wildfire Danger
9:32 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Fire Evacuees In Pateros, Wash. Await Information On Their Town's Fate

About 80 people woke up in a Red Cross shelter in central Washington Friday morning after a wildfire forced the town of Pateros to evacuate overnight. Initial reports are that 40 homes and a church have burned in the small town on the Columbia River.

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Wildfire Danger
10:58 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Wildfire Threatens Hundreds Of Homes In Central Washington

A plane drops fire retardant on the Chiwaukum Creek Fire near Leavenworth, Wash., Thursday, July 17, 2014.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

Residents of 860 homes have been told they should evacuate as a wildfire burns out of control in central Washington state.

The Chiwaukum Creek fire in Chelan County, believed to have been started by lightning and first detected on Tuesday, remains zero percent contained. It has now burned approximately 4,500 acres.

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wildfire
11:41 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Fire Near Leavenworth 10 Percent Contained

A wildfire burning near Leavenworth is about 10 percent contained, but firefighters are keeping a wary eye on temperatures expected to climb into the 90s.

The Eagle fire covers 1,186 acres and is located about 5 miles northwest of the Bavarian-themed village of Leavenworth.

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wildfire
10:14 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Wildfire Burning Near Leavenworth Triples in Size

U.S. Forest Service

A ridge-top wildfire burning northeast of Leavenworth, Wash., tripled in size overnight and residents of 30 nearby homes have been told to evacuate. Residents of another 35 homes have been told to prepare to evacuate.

Fire spokeswoman Robin DeMario said on Wednesday morning the Eagle Fire has grown to more than 2 square miles, because of overnight fire activity and more accurate mapping.

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fighting wildfires
5:00 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Fire Managers Increasingly Turning to Private Fire Crews

With wildfires still raging across the Northwest, fire managers are turning to private firefighting crews in increasing numbers. One private industry group says 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 figure sounds about right. But the shift didn't happen overnight; the Oregon Department of Forestry's Rod Nichols says the change started in the 80s.

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landslides
4:18 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Landslides Complicate Firefighting Near Wenatchee

Milepost 10 Fire, south of Wenatchee.
Washington Department of Natural Resources

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. 

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:38 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Showers Will Melt Away, but Lightning Could Spark More Fires

Washington State Department of Natural Resources Flickr

Drizzly skies are expected to yield to warmer temperatures and some sun this weekend, because of an upper level trough over us and that’s causing upward motion and clouds, says Cliff Mass, KPLU’s weather expert.

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Wildfires
7:07 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Lightning Strikes Spark New Wash. Wildfires

Fire crews are scrambling to respond to reports of new wildfires sparked by lightning after thunderstorms swept through central Washington.

Jim Duck is the operations coordinator for the region's Interagency Dispatch Center. He says there are reports of new wildfires in Okanogan, Douglas and Kittitas counties.

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Wildfires
12:05 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Roads remain closed as crews gain handle on C-Line fire

The C-Line fire is seen burning on Monday, May 6, 2013.
Department of Natural Resources

Fire crews were gaining a handle on the wildfire burning in the Capitol State Forest Tuesday.

At noon, the C-Line fire was at 70 percent containment at 80 acres, according to the Department of Natural Resources. Several roads and trails shut down by the blaze were to remain closed at least until the end of the day (see full list of closures).

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Wildfires
4:39 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Wildfire Awareness Week begins with 2 blazes burning in W. Wash.

The Dog Mountain fire is seen burning on Monday, May 6, 2013.
Washington State Department of Transportation

Wildfire Awareness Week began Monday with record-breaking heat and crews working to contain two blazes that broke out over the weekend in Western Washington.

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Taylor Bridge Fire
11:04 am
Mon December 17, 2012

Investigators name cause of Taylor Bridge Fire near Cle Elum

This photo combination shows a house on a hillside above Bettas Road near Cle Elum, Wash., surrounded by flames on Aug. 14, top, and on Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012, bottom. the house survived the fire because of the defensible space around the structure.
AP

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Department of Natural Resources has concluded that an August wildfire that caused $11 million damage was caused by sparks from welding or cutting work on a bridge southeast of Cle Elum.

The department on Monday released the results of its investigation into the Taylor Bridge Fire that destroyed 61 homes and blackened 36 square miles. 

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wildfires
11:32 am
Thu October 4, 2012

Wildfire danger moves to western Washington, Oregon

Dry east winds are bringing a higher risk of wildfires to most of western Washington and western Oregon.

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Wildfires
11:33 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

After NW fires: Bring on the bugs

Horntail or wood wasps are drawn to burned forests. They deposit their eggs in downed trees. Photo courtesy of USDA

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 4:40 pm

Wildfires have already scorched more than one million acres across the Northwest this year. It may take years before the signs of the burns are no longer visible. But charred Northwest forests are already a-buzz with new life.

Burned forests are not quiet places.

“It’s very lively in the forest immediately after a fire," says Connie Mehmel. "Very lively. And a lot of that liveliness is insects.”

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Washington Wildfires
10:26 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Northwest fire season overlapping with hunting season

Wildfires have closed some prime hunting grounds in the Northwest. Photo by Dennis Stern/ USFS Gila National Forest

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 4:54 pm

Evacuation notices around the Northwest have subsided as fire crews beat back the threat of wildfire to homes and subdivisions.

Officials have removed an alert near Sisters, Oregon, where the Pole Creek Fire is 80 percent contained. In Idaho, the Idaho County Sheriff lifted an evacuation order near the McGuire Complex in the Nez Perce National Forest. And crews at the Wenatchee Complex in Washington have been reduced by half since last weekend.

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