News and updates about wildfires, fire funding, and other fire related stories.
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Schools Cancel Outdoor Activities

The air quality in our region is the worst it has been since the big fires in the summer of 2015. Officials are warning folks to try to limit their exposure to the outside air if possible.

Bob Lutz is the Spokane County Health officer who says the particulate levels are now bad enough they pose a risk to everyone, not just those with breathing disorders like asthma.

The wildfire smoke in Washington state has been extreme for days now, and many are wondering just when the air might clear out. An atmospheric scientist from the Washington Department of Ecology thinks the severe wildfire smoke may start to clear out a bit by Thursday for the western part of the state, but linger longer in the east. According to Ranil Dahmmapala,  “The good news is from the weekend onward, there’s a good chance for a pattern shift, and we might have southwest winds to blow some of the smoke away and keep the British Columbia smoke away for a while.”

A state of emergency, excessive heat and an extended period of dry weather are unlikely to pair well with an influx of up to 1.5 million visitors in Oregon in two weeks.

A summer filled with wildfires means air conditions in the Northwest are going from bad to worse. Fires from British Columbia and around Washington state have contributed to a smoky week.

Like a dreamy scene, the Yakima Valley is blanketed in thick haze. But the reality is not so serene. Coupled with high temperatures and humidity, the smog is taking its toll on local residents.

USA Today

With all this water in our region right now -- one of the wettest springs ever -- the chance of a wildfire starting and gaining traction somewhere is pretty remote. But the memories of the severe wildfire seasons of 2014 and 2015 — speaking of the power of Mother Nature — are still fresh in the minds of Washington elected leaders.

Last week, Governor Jay Inslee, Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz and a few others met with landowners like Bonnie Cobb a bit west of Spokane. They wanted to see the work these folks had done to keep their homes and property safe from wildfire.