forest fires

Wildfire Prevention
3:05 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Long, Hot Winter Puts Western Fire Officials On Edge

Flames approach the Blakiston Ranch in California last May during the Springs fire. It eventually torched more than 24,000 acres.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 5:16 pm

The view from atop Conejo Mountain is postcard-worthy. It's 360 degrees of Southern California: mountains, coastline, cookie-cutter homes.

But if you look closer, the greens, blues and browns of Conejo are charred away, burnt a charcoal black.

Mike Lindbery, a captain with the Ventura County Fire Department, was here on this mountain last spring when a wildfire raced up the hillside on its way to torching more than 24,000 acres.

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Firefighting
10:48 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Fire Season Winding Down For Washington's Hotshots

Flickr Photo/US Department of Agriculture

It's been a tough fire season for the elite group of firefighters known as hotshots; and not because of the fires.

Hotshots are used to the hard work. They work 14 days in a row, then get three days off, then repeat the cycle over and over again until winter finally puts the nation's fires to bed. They're deployed throughout the West, never knowing where they'll be sent until the last minute. They work with their hands, using chainsaws and shovels. Sometimes, they have to work through grief, as they did this summer when a fire near Phoenix, Arizona, swallowed 19 hotshots in one gulp.

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Rim Fire Danger
9:50 am
Wed August 28, 2013

California Weather Events Travel Through Idaho, Bringing Fire Risk

InciWeb. The Little Queens Fire is burning more than 20,000 acres near the town of Atlanta, Idaho.

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 4:17 pm

The same weather patterns that are making the Rim Fire a challenge for firefighters in California have been moving up through parts of the Northwest. Specifically, through central Idaho. Fire managers say the forests there are ripe for fire, and more lightning is in the forecast this week.

The fact that massive fires are raging both in California and in Idaho is no coincidence, according to Robyn Broyles. She's with the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise.

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Wildfire Season
4:43 am
Mon August 26, 2013

'Fire Tracker': Online Tool To Monitor Blaze Near Yosemite

Some of the flames Saturday as the "Rim Fire" spread near Northern California's Yosemite National Park.
Elias Funez MCT /Landov

Hundreds of firefighters are "digging trenches, clearing brush and starting back blazes to keep a wildfire raging north of Yosemite National Park out of several mountain hamlets," The Associated Press writes Monday morning in its latest update on the huge "Rim Fire" that is threatening some of the power and water services to the city of San Francisco.

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Campfires Allowed
9:37 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Burn Ban Relaxed In Western Washington

Flickr Photo/Bejan

A burn ban issued by the Department of Natural Resources in late July has been partially lifted in Western Washington. Recreational fires in approved fire pits on DNR protected lands — such as state, county, municipal or other campgrounds — are now allowed west of the Cascades. Other outdoor burning is still banned in Western Washington.

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Fighting Fires
11:28 am
Mon July 1, 2013

How Wildfires Get Out Of Control

In Washington, we're accustomed to forest fires every summer. Already this year crews had to fight the C-Line fire in Capitol State Forest, which was first reported on May 4.
Flickr Photo/Washington State Department of Natural Resources

  Nineteen firefighters died fighting a wildfire in Arizona yesterday. The Arizona forestry department is still investigating how the crew died, but many suspect that the blaze was just too quick and unpredictable. Washington state has also lost firefighters to fast spreading wildfires in the past. In 2001, four firefighters died in the Thirty Mile Fire in the Okanogan National Forest. Ross Reynolds talks to Peter Goldmark, the Commissioner of Public Lands at the Department of Natural Resources, about how wildfires get out of control so quickly.

Federal Sequester Budget Slash
12:02 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

How Will Federal Budget Cuts Affect Forest Firefighting In Washington State This Season?

Flickr Photo/US Department of Agriculture

 State officials are predicting another challenging wildfire season this year. Fighting those fires may be more difficult due to the federal sequester, which slashed nearly 8 percent from the Forest Service’s budget. Ross Reynolds interviews Washington State’s Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark.