Wildfire

News and updates about wildfires, fire funding, and other fire related stories.
For the most recent information:
NWCC Blog (Northwest Interagency Coordination Center)
Map of Fires and Northwest Smoke Air Quality
Wildfire Incident Reports:
Washington | Idaho | Oregon | Montana

Multiple times this summer, the sighting of a wayward hobbyist drone has grounded aerial firefighting aircraft at Western wildfires. But unmanned aircraft have the potential to be useful at wildfires too.

Wildfires continue to burn across the state and it's hitting ranchers hard in central Washington.

This has been one of the worst — and most expensive — wildfire seasons ever in the Northwest, where climate change and a history of suppressing wildfires have created a dangerous buildup of fuels.

With fires burning hotter and more intense, there are renewed calls to change how the federal government pays to fight the biggest fires.

"These large and intense fires are a natural disaster in much the same way a hurricane or a tornado or a flood is," U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says. "And they ought to be funded as such through the emergency funding of FEMA."

More than 1,000 square miles of wildfires are burning in Washington state. In the remote Okanogan Valley in the north-central part of the state, many cattle ranchers are scrambling to save their herds.

Ranchers in Omak, Wash., have lost animals, barns, pasture and winter haystacks to the wildfires. But some people still have their cattle, and at the town's Ag Tech Feed Store, owners Monte and Laurie Andrews are trying to help keep those ranchers in business.

The battle continues to contain dozens of large wildfires burning across the Northwest. Firefighters are hoping for a break in the weather this weekend -- and perhaps even some rain.

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