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President Obama Friday declared an emergency in Washington state because of wildfires, freeing up more federal aid.

As firefighters work to contain the Canyon Creek Complex wildfire, high winds and hot temperatures mean the fire keeps growing.

Wind Could Shift Direction Of Chelan Complex Fires

Aug 21, 2015

Wind is continuing to whip up wildfires burning in north central Washington state. After a dry cold front blew through this morning, another strong surge of wind Friday could cause trouble.

The Portland Development Commission this week launched a $3 million fund to invest in startups founded by women and minorities.

The Oregon Transportation Commission adopted new rules Friday requiring railroads to increase the amount of information they share with state officials. Months in the making, the rules come in response to concerns over the state’s readiness for oil train spills and fires.

Emergency responders will now get immediate notification from railroads for incidents involving hazardous materials. Those notifications include information about the type, quantity and placement of any materials on the train.

More Than 875K Acres Burning Across The Northwest

Aug 21, 2015

President Obama declared a state of emergency Friday for Washington state, where several wildfires are burning uncontained.

More than 875,000 acres are now burning across the Pacific Northwest, as more than 9,200 firefighters and support personnel are working to protect homes and save lives.

Currently, the top fire in the region is the Okanogan Complex, burning in north central Washington. Fire officials said mandatory evacuations are in place for the town of Tonasket, where about 1,000 people live.

KUOW Illustration

How well do you know the Seattle City Council district you live in? In 2013, Seattle voted to split the city into seven districts to elect council members with two more members elected at-large. This year will be the first election under that system.

The infant room at Learning Way School & Daycare in White Center, where director Jeri Finch says she does her best to make sure parents update their children's immunization records regularly.
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

Under Washington state law, children are supposed to be fully immunized to attend daycare or preschool.

But no one knows how many kids in child care centers are actually vaccinated, because the state’s not keeping track.

Liban Ahmed handles baggage at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. He says he'll use the extra money to buy a car, save for college and visit his mom in Mogadishu, who he has not seen in 15 years.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

About 4,700 workers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport are about to get a big raise. The Washington Supreme Court has ruled that the city of SeaTac’s $15 an hour minimum wage applies to airport employees.

Fires burning across Washington state have grown to about 390,000 acres and killed three firefighters. Now elected officials are asking the Obama administration for federal money to help fight them.

Tom Zbyszewski is seen in a family photo. His father, Richard, called it one of his favorite photos of his son.
Courtesy of Zbyszewski family

Like thousands of other college students in the West, Tom Zbyszewski relished summers on the fire lines - it was outdoor work that paid, that was important, that gave him a little swagger when he returned to school in the fall.

One more week, and Zbyszewski, a 20-year-old physics major with an acting bent, would have been back at Whitman College, telling stories.

Flames and smoke rise on a hillside above Twisp River Road near Twisp, Wash., Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

“Everything is tapped out.”

Those were the not-so-reassuring words of Peter Goldmark, Washington state lands commissioner. He spoke Thursday with KUOW’s Ross Reynolds, the day after three firefighters were killed in a wildfire near Twisp.

Operagoers visit replica of horse stall where Japanese-American families were housed en route to camps.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Opera patrons tend to glide toward their seats, downing last drops of Prosecco before the doors close.

But this Seattle opera wants to draw you in from the moment you step into the grand hall. Case in point: Patrons entering the McCaw Hall lobby pass through a checkpoint where actors dressed as guards assign numbers.

“This is your family number,” they tell you, “please keep it with you at all times.”

A wildfire burns behind a home on Twisp River Road early Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015 in Twisp, Wash.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Three Forest Service firefighters killed in a wildfire threatening Twisp were in a vehicle accident before flames overran them, state and federal officials said.

The fire in the Methow Valley is one of many burning across Washington, "an unprecedented cataclysm in our state,” Gov. Jay Inslee told news media Thursday in Chelan after being briefed by fire officials.

Government Email Addresses Released In Dating Site Hack

Aug 20, 2015

Dozens of email addresses from government domain names in the Northwest are included in a data release this week. Unfortunately it’s customer data from an online dating site intended for extramarital affairs -- and it was stolen by hackers.

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