MONDAY, SEPT. 29, 2014

Exploding targets blamed for another wildfire

SHOOTING -- There's a reason it's illegal. Exploding target ignited August wildfire in Montana A Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks official said the August wildfire in the Sapphire Mountains was ignited by a target shooter illegally using an explosive target at a state wildlife management...


Firefighting efforts rob forest health funding

PUBLIC LANDS – National conservation groups are backing a bill in Congress that would help prevent wildfire fighting operations from dipping into funding for forest health and wildfire prevention programs. “How we account for fire suppression costs in the federal budget absolutely must change if...

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 27, 2014

Deer problems expected on charred Methow winter range

WILDLIFE -- At least one farmer already is experiencing deer damaging an alfalfa field in otherwise charred landscape in the Methow Valley region, according to the latest report from the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department's wildlife program. The Carlton Complex fires burned and leaped across...

FRIDAY, AUG. 22, 2014

Craig Mountain fires controlled; roads reopening

PUBLIC LANDS -- The 67,000-acre Big Cougar Fire near the confluence of the Salmon and Snake rivers has raised hell with one of Idaho's choice public-land hunting areas in Hells Canyon. But there's still a lot of terrain, which hunters now are able to re-explore....

MONDAY, AUG. 18, 2014

Methow forest areas reopen as fires reduced

PUBLIC LANDS -- Methow Valley and Tonasket Ranger Districts on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest have reopened many of the areas that were closed because of the Carlton Complex wildfires. Areas reopened on Sunday include: East Chewuch area Upper West Chewuch area, including Andrews Creek and...

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 13, 2014

BLM bans campfires on its Eastern Washington lands

PUBLIC LANDS -- Extreme fire danger has prompted the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to join Washington state agencies in prohibiting campfires in Eastern Washington, including in developed recreation areas. The federal agency's fire managers enacted initial fire restrictions in mid-July. Today they updated the...

TUESDAY, AUG. 12, 2014

Reptiles, amphipbians, wildfire programs at Sinlahekin celebration

WILDLIFE -- Free programs on snakes and other reptiles and amphibians, geology, wildfire history and prescribed burn management will be featured this weekend, Aug. 23-24, as the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area 75th anniversary celebration continues in northcentral Okanogan County. It’s the fourth summer weekend in the...

FRIDAY, AUG. 8, 2014

Despite fires, Chelan-Okanogan region open for recreation

Large areas of the Okanogan-Wenatchee Forest and routes into the North Cascades remain open to recreation despite the wildfires that have burned more than 250,000 acres in northcentral Washington since mid-July. Salmon fishing is luring anglers to the Columbia River in the scorched Pateros-Brewster area....

Video: Carlton fires leave table bare for wildlife

Carlton Complex Fire Devastation Part 2 from Chelan HD, Sy Stepanov on Vimeo. WILDLIFE -- The Carlton Complex wildfires in the Methow Valley region -- 250,500 acres and still burning; the largest recorded in Washington history -- have destroyed about 300 human-related homes and structures...

THURSDAY, AUG. 7, 2014

National forests enacting restrictions on fires, smoking, chain saws

PUBLIC LANDS -- National Forest officials in Washington are are restricting activities that could accidentally spark wildfires as the state continues to be tinder dry and in a pall of smoke from other fires. Starting Tuesday, Aug. 12, campfires will only be allowed only in...


25-pound king tops Brewster Salmon Derby

FISHING -- Although there were a few jokes about the prevalence of "smoked fish," the sentiments were genuine last weekend as the ninth annual Brewster King Salmon Derby dedicated proceeds of a raffle to victims of the sprawling Carlton Complex wildfires. The three-day derby raised...

TUESDAY, AUG. 5, 2014

Deja vu: Bear cub rescued from fire; flown for treatment

WILDLIFE -- The story of Cinder, the badly burned 37-pound black bear cub rescued Monday from the Carlton Complex fires in northcentral Washington (top) has a very similar ring to another true story that bloomed into a national forest campaign. The legacy of Smokey Bear...

Smoke makes return to Spokane bittersweet

WILDFIRES -- Fond memories of more than two weeks of adventuring in Bolivia were dashed this morning as Horizon Airlines gave me an aerial tour of the hardship the region has suffered from wildfires while I've been gone. My return flight from Seattle to Spokane...


Little Spokane River spot fire chars Knothead trail

HIKING -- Knothead has become a blackhead this month. The popular trail destination above the Little Spokane River and overlooking the Spokane River was charred by a July 8 spot fire that occurred the day before the larger fires ignited and ran through the Lake...


Fires scorch hopes for sockeye fishermen

FISHING -- The heat and smoke of wildfires is forcing some anglers to temporarily chill their enthusiasm for catching a share of the record run of sockeye heading into the upper Columbia. Pateros area is being evacuated tonight because of the Carlton Complex fires, and...

FRIDAY, JULY 11, 2014

Lake Spokane Campground closed during wildfire

CAMPING -- The Lake Spokane Campground, formerly operated by the Washington Department of Natural Resources, has been closed by state officials as they fight a nearby wildfire in Stevens County. Other Riverside State Park facilities remain open. See the story. See more details on where...

MONDAY, SEPT. 9, 2013

Fire closures causing hassles for Idaho hunters

HUNTING -- Check ahead before heading out hiking or hunting in central and southern Idaho. Closure of federal lands in Idaho snarls hunting plans The U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management have closed public access to thousands of acres in Idaho burned...

FRIDAY, AUG. 23, 2013

Fires restricting public access; check before you go

PUBLIC LANDS – Wildfires scattered throughout the northwest are affecting access to niches of national forests and other lands the public normally has access to for hunting, fishing, camping, berry picking and other late-summer pursuits. Glacier and Yellowstone Parks have had to close sections of...

TUESDAY, AUG. 20, 2013

Firefighters storm Marie Creek blaze near Wolf Lodge

PUBLIC LANDS -- Forest Service firefighters are continue to attack a four-acre wildfire today just east of Coeur d’Alene near Wolf Lodge, says Jason Kirchner, Idaho Panhandle National Forests spokesman. The fire is along Marie Creek, which includes a popular hiking trail two and a...

TUESDAY, AUG. 6, 2013

Colockum Tarps Fire threatens elk winter range

HUNTING -- The wildfire -- considred human-caused -- that's already burned 80,000 acres near Ellensburg, is scorching the winter range of one of the state's most important elk herds. The extent of the impacts is yet unknown, but the Colockum herd almost surely will be...

Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog

Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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