wildfires

People in many Northwest communities are on edge Tuesday. A series of wildfires that threatened urban areas in recent days is the culprit.

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Ross Reynolds talks with Tim Egan, columnist for the New York Times, about the Devil's Broom fire in 1910. The conflagration was the largest in United States history, burning 3 million acres in the Pacific Northwest, and set the stage for modern firefighting.

Flickr Photo/Washington Department of Natural Resources

Fighting this summer’s wildfires in eastern Washington has cost the state more than $50 million, and Governor Jay Inslee said the state can expect even more expensive fires in years ahead.

The ongoing fires are the “tip of the iceberg," Inslee said, because warmer climate likely means more fires.

The lights are coming back on in fire-swept north central Washington. A major transmission line was restored late last week, but not everyone has their power back.

Northwest Wildfires Boost Call For Funding Reform

Jul 28, 2014

Fires continue to rage through tinder-dry wildlands in Oregon, Washington and California. Nearly a million acres have burned so far, destroying more than 200 homes.

With the nation’s eyes turned toward the Northwest, Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden and the Obama administration have taken the opportunity to renew their efforts to change how the federal government pays to fight and prevent wildfires.

In a conference call from Washington, D.C., Wyden said fire season in the West is changing, and fast.

Federal funds are being used to help fight the wildfires that have raged across the Northwest this summer. But so far, the Federal Emergency Management Agency isn't handing out money directly to owners of the nearly 200 homes lost in the blazes.

Chelan HD Productions/Sy Stepanov

As the Carlton Complex fire roared across central Washington state, Chelan videographer Sy Stepanov tagged along with a friend who owns a real estate firm to assess the damage.

Stepanov brought his drone to record video of the destruction. “When I got there, it was just a no-brainer," he said. "People need to see this.”

Washington Governor Jay Inslee said Tuesday President Obama has pledged immediate federal aid to help fire-swept areas of north central Washington.

Fire Evacuees Find Help With Donation Centers, Shelters

Jul 23, 2014

The Okanogan County Sheriff’s Department ordered more homeowners to evacuate Monday afternoon. These newest evacuations came after firefighters saw a brief relief from high winds and hot weather Sunday.

Updates On The Carlton Complex Fire

Jul 22, 2014
Flickr Photo/The National Guard (SFC Jason Kriess) (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Paul Gibbs, media information officer on location at the Carlton Complex Fire camp, where emergency and firefighting efforts are based. In addition, Brewster resident Jessica Mae Periman talks about losing her house to the fire.

Courtesy of Terry Craven

UPDATE 7/22/2014, 9:44 a.m.

KUOW's Lisa Brooks checked back in with Bruce Craven Tuesday morning to get an update on how his town was faring after the Carlton Complex fire ripped through Thursday evening.

He said the fire he witnessed in Pateros burned up the vegetation all around his church, but the structure itself is intact, albeit with char marks on the outside and broken windows.

Residents including Craven were able to attend services there on Sunday. Craven said many congregants had lost everything in the fire.

So far, more than 150 homes in Washington state have been destroyed in what veteran firefighters are calling the worst fire season in decades. 

Washington Fire Leaves Thousands Without AC, Gas, ATMs

Jul 22, 2014

The Carlton Complex fire, the most destructive wildfire currently burning in the Northwest, has left thousands of people without air conditioning and refrigeration. It has closed gas stations and shut down ATMs in north-central Washington.

In north-central Washington, fire crews aided by cooler temperatures and calmer winds are going on the offensive against several sprawling wildfires. Incident commanders of the region’s biggest and most destructive wildfire briefed residents in Omak and Brewster Sunday night.

Flickr Photo/The National Guard (SFC Jason Kriess) (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Bill Radke speaks with Brenda Riggan of Brewster, Washington, about coming back to her home after the Carlton Complex wildfire tore through the area and her frustration over never having received an evacuation notice in the first place. Then, Ross Reynolds talks with Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers about why people like Riggan didn't receive the same notices that other residents did.

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