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wildfires

Vacationers are cancelling their trips and residents are preparing for wildfire in a remote northeast Washington tourist village that is accessible only by hiking trail, seaplane and ferry.

Update 6:15 p.m.: Officials fighting a fire near the town of Roosevelt, Washington, ordered residents of about 25 homes to evacuate immediately Wednesday evening. The mandatory evacuation order comes after the Columbia River Gorge fire grew to more than 17,000 acres Wednesday.

No injuries have been reported. The Klickitat County Sheriff's Office upped the evacuation order from Level 1 to Level 3 after the wind-driven fire in sage and grass lands kicked up Wednesday afternoon.

Firefighters are still on the scene of a quick-moving blaze that burned five homes in rural Mason County, Washington, on Friday. The destruction is evidence of dry conditions even on the west side of the Cascades.

The Wolverine Creek Fire in northeast Washington state has grown by 9,000 acres since Sunday. It’s now at 25,634 acres on the northwest side of Lake Chelan.

Stouts Creek Wildfire Expands Rapidly In Southern Oregon

Jul 31, 2015

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown invoked the state's Emergency Conflagration Act Thursday evening as the Stouts Creek Wildfire encroached on homes in Southwest Oregon.

The wildfire began Thursday afternoon and reached nearly 6,000 acres by the end of the day. The fire threatened about 50 homes 11 miles east of Canyonville in Douglas County. An additional 300 homes are at risk as hot and dry conditions are expected to fuel the blaze Friday.

When it comes to watering your lawn during drought and wildfire season, what’s the sweet spot between water conservation and fire hazard?

The Fish Creek Fire in Interior Alaska isn't much to look at. It's about 7,500 acres in size, sitting about an hour south of Fairbanks near the twisty Tanana River. The main fire front — the made-for-TV part, with torching trees and pulses of orange heat — flamed out more than a week ago, leaving behind a quiet charred landscape.

The massive Blue Creek Fire near Walla Walla, Washington, is putting the city’s drinking water supply in jeopardy. The fire is burning along the area’s watershed line as fire crews work around the clock to contain it.

Firefighters on the Blue Creek Fire burning just outside of Walla Walla are intensifying their fight to hold a line and keep the wildfire out of a watershed and residential area. Correspondent Anna King describes the scene:

The Blue Creek Fire burning 10 miles east of Walla Walla, Washington, has grown to 5.500 acres and is the top priority fire in the Northwest for federal resource managers.

One thousand firefighters are fighting the Blue Creek Fire Thursday about eight miles outside of Walla Walla, Washington.

The Blue Creek Fire burning about 10 miles east of Walla Walla, Washington, has grown to more than 5,500 acres. Evacuations remain in place as about 600 firefighters try to head off the flames burning in grass, bush and timber.

Four hundred firefighters attacked the Blue Creek wildfire 10 miles east of Walla Walla, Washington, Tuesday. The wind and dry ground let it grow up to 4,200 acres.

The Blue Creek wildfire 10 miles east of Walla Walla, Washington, has grown to 4,200 acres and is growing to the southeast.

A wildfire about 10 miles east of Walla Walla, Washington, grew to the southeast Tuesday afternoon. The close proximity to town means some people are driving by to get an up-close look at the fire.

Walla Walla County expects more than 400 personnel on the scene of a growing fire ten miles east of Walla Walla by Tuesday afternoon.

A fire that started Sunday afternoon jumped lines around noon Monday and burned across Interstate 90 near George, Washington. The fire has grown to about 900 acres, but so far no structures have burned.

Mark Huff was a young post-graduate student back in 1978 when the Hoh Fire burned 1,250 acres not too far from the site of the current Paradise Fire. He’s been studying Olympic rainforest fires ever since. Historically, these fires occur every 500-1,000 y
KUOW Photo/Ashley Ahearn

PORT ANGELES, Wash. -- It’s 6 a.m. and a special team of fire response coordinators is gathered at Port Angeles High School.

This incident command center is more than 100 miles from the wildfire they’re dealing with: the Paradise Fire, which is burning on the western edge of Olympic National Park.

This small house with a family with five kids was saved by defensible space at the Chelan Butte Fire in 2011. The property had green grass all the way around. The owner is a former Forest Service employee who knows what it means to live in fire country.
Flickr Photo/Washington DNR (CC BY NC ND)

Ross Reynolds interviews Roger Faris about how to protect your home from wildfire, whether you live near a forest, in the suburbs or in the city. Faris has worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency in disaster areas from Alaska to Florida, including Eastern Washington during last year’s severe wildfire season,  to figure out what can be done to reduce damage from disaster.

This year is poised to be a difficult firefighting season in the Pacific Northwest. Most parts of Oregon and Washington experienced the warmest January to June since record keeping began in 1890, and the drought that has devastated California is steadily advancing north.

Making the season even more tense, firefighters are reporting an increasing number of near misses with unmanned drones, many of which appear to be sent by hobbyists or photographers trying to document fires.

Cooler temperatures around the region have slowed the number of wildfires burning in the Pacific Northwest.

"This is a nice reprieve in the middle of July," said Robin DeMario, a spokesperson with the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center in Portland.

Right now, fire crews are making gains on seven large-scale fires that are burning about 60,000 acres in Oregon and Washington.

The cool and at times even wet weather during the past week has given the 1,300 firefighters scattered around the Pacific Northwest the upper hand, at least for now, DeMario said.

A remote mountain village on the Northwest end of Lake Chelan in Washington state, was braced for an evacuation order because of wildfire Monday night.

The region known as the wettest place in the lower 48 states is on fire. Washington State’s Olympic National Park, characterized by lush foliage, massive hanging ferns and spongy lichens, is experiencing the worst wildfire in the park’s history — a blaze that has consumed 1,600 acres and is not expected to be under control for another two and a half months.

Fire crews said Monday afternoon that the Douglas County Complex fire burning near Wenatchee, Washington, is at least 55 percent contained.

A bill that would make big changes to how the federal government pays to fight wildfire passed the U.S. House of Representatives Thursday.

Smoky skies from wildfires in Vancouver makes for an orange sun as it sets.
Flickr Photo/Alejandro Mejía Greene (CC BY NC ND)

Ross Reynolds speaks with Vaughn Palmer, columnist for the Vancouver Sun, about the worst fire season British Columbia has ever seen. And Gary Schneider, meteorologist with the National Weather Service, talks about  smoke from Canadian wildfires and the impact it's having in Washington state. 

You would think that Vancouver, British Columbia, residents would be breathing a little easier following the end of the Women's World Cup, but smoke from nearby fires is making it near impossible.

Canada is burning and America is choking on her smoke

Jul 7, 2015
Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations

I've lived and worked at PRI in Minneapolis for almost four years. Summers are usually the best time of year up here — temperatures are fairly moderate, days are long and the air is clear.

On Monday, though, the air was anything but. Canada is burning. Not all of Canada, but rather tens of thousands of acres of forest from Manitoba to Saskatchewan to British Columbia are on fire and all of that smoke is choking much of the western and central US.

The Corner Creek Fire has burned 26,000 acres south of Dayville, Oregon.

Idaho Governor Butch Otter issued a disaster declaration Monday for two north Idaho counties dealing with a fast-growing wildfire.

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