In brief: Storm expected to bring high winds
SEATTLE – Forecasters say a storm will blow into Washington today with strong winds on the coast and Puget Sound region and snow in the mountains down to the highway passes.
The National Weather Service says a passing cold front could bring 50 mph wind gusts on the north coast, Strait of Juan de Fuca and northwest interior, while parts of the southwest interior and Puget Sound area could be hit by wind gusts in the 40s.
Forecasters say Snoqualmie and Stevens passes could have 6 inches of snow accumulating by midday Sunday. A foot of new snow is possible on Mount Rainier.
Eastern Washington also will have mountain snow and winds Saturday, with gusts up to 40 mph possible over the Columbia Basin.
Studded tires officially legal
OLYMPIA – Studded tires are now legal on Washington roadways.
They’ll have to come off cars at the end of March, when the threat of snow-and-ice covered highways has passed.
The state Department of Transportation would like to see studded tires banned year-round because of the ruts they cause on highways.
The department says drivers at higher elevations should use traction tires and carry chains. When chains are required on passes, studded tires alone will not meet the requirement unless your vehicle is an all-wheel-drive vehicle.
Officials will discuss salmon proposal
OMAK – Federal and tribal officials will host a meeting Tuesday on a proposal to reintroduce spring chinook salmon in the Okanogan basin.
The meeting is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Koala Street Grill in Omak.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation will discuss the proposal, which would release the endangered species as a “nonessential experimental population.”
That means none of the restrictions that go along with an endangered species would apply, said Lynn Hatcher, interior Columbia River recovery coordinator for NOAA Fisheries.
Hatcher said reintroducing spring chinook into streams where they are now extinct is a component of the recovery plan.
He said farmers, ranchers and sports fishermen will face no action if their activities harm the reintroduced fish.
No decisions have been made about whether spring chinook will be reintroduced into the basin, he said.
Boys found dead after fire at home
CLE ELUM, Wash. – A Kittitas County fire spokeswoman said two young boys were found dead after a house fire Friday in the small town of Cle Elum, Wash.
Kittitas County Fire District No. 7 spokeswoman Richelle Risdon said the boys’ mother suffered non-life-threatening burns and was being treated at a hospital.
Risdon said police and medics who arrived within a minute of the call tried to enter the home but were driven back by smoke.
The children were not immediately identified.
Some 30 firefighters from three departments fought the blaze.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.