wildfires

After Fires In West, Mushroom Hunters 'Chase The Burn'

Apr 20, 2016

Right now, and in the coming weeks, from Northern California to Alaska, commercial and amateur mushroom hunters will be scouring hills that were ravaged by fires last summer and fall. Their prey? Morel mushrooms.

"Sometimes we call it 'chasing the burns,' " mushroom enthusiast Kevin Sadlier says, in search of the black morel mushrooms that grow in the springtime after a forest fire.

A plane dumps fire retardant on a ballooning wildfire on Aug. 14.
Flickr Photo/Ben Brooks (CC BY-SA 2.0) bit.ly/1KSulVD

Bill Radke speaks with Trevor McConchie, firefighter with the Department of Natural Resources, about this year's wildfire season and how people can prepare. Find out how to defend and prepare your home for wildfire season.

Klamath Forest Wildfire Plan Faces Pushback

Mar 29, 2016

During the summer of 2014, wildfires burned more than 200,000 acres of the Klamath National Forest in northern California’s Siskiyou County. Last year, the U.S. Forest Service proposed a program of salvage logging, replanting and hazardous tree removal. That plan faced opposition from environmental groups and the Karuk Indian tribe. Now, a modified version of the plan has been approved, and was immediately met with a challenge in federal court.

Idaho counties could declare federal forestland within their borders to be a "catastrophic public nuisance" under a measure approved by an Idaho legislative committee Tuesday.

A few short months from now, federal and state foresters around the West will purposely set controlled burns to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires later. This is a regular practice in Oregon, Idaho and California, but much less common in Washington state.

A proposed summertime ban on consumer fireworks is firing people up at the Washington state Capitol. It’s just one of many ideas being floated in Northwest statehouses to avoid a repeat of last summer's bad wildfire season.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee will roll out his proposed update to the state’s two-year budget on Thursday. One of the chief spending items will be paying for last summer’s fire season.

The preliminary investigation of a deadly wildfire in August gives a detailed account of how three Forest Service firefighters met their deaths near Twisp, Washington.

The Wildfire Conundrum: Building In The Woods

Nov 20, 2015

Editor's Note: The Wildfire Conundrum is a collaboration between the journalism nonprofit InvestigateWest and Jefferson P

The Wildfire Conundrum: The Climate Effect

Nov 19, 2015

Editor’s Note: The Wildfire Conundrum is a collaboration between the journalism nonprofit InvestigateWest and Jefferson Publ

Three people are suing the State of Washington over the response to 2014’s Carlton Complex fire. The fire, initially called the Golden Hike fire, was started by lightning. Plaintiffs David and Deannis Schulz and John Clees say it started as just a few acres and that the state could have contained it.

Daniel Lyon speaks at a news conference on Harborview Medical Center on Wednesday, the day he was released after more than four months in the hospital recovering from burns suffered in the Twisp River wildfire.
Harborview Medical Center

A firefighter critically injured in a deadly wildfire in eastern Washington last summer left Harborview Medical Center on Wednesday after three months in the hospital.

“This accident was a true tragedy, but it’s brought out so much good in the world,” said Daniel Lyon Jr., wearing a clear protective mask to limit scarring from the severe burns on his face. “I’ve never seen so many gracious people in my life.”

Following a summer of record wildfires across the Northwest, Washington state officials worry that residents in burned-over areas could be facing floods and mud in the wake of incoming storms.

A photographer from Wenatchee, Washington, has made a revealing discovery at the scene of a remote and long-abandoned fire lookout: a pile of very old firewood.

Much of the forestland above the Illinois River in Southwest Oregon is a tangled mess of manzanita, shrubby hardwoods and ceanothus. Bushwhacking through it is a branch-to-the-face, boot-snagging, poison-oaky horror.

And this is one of the easy spots, says Portland State University Ph.D. student Charles Maxwell.

“Yeah, this one is a pretty accessible site relatively. Some are quite a bit further in,” he says.

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