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Sunday, October 25, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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After two bad wildfire years, this season ‘normal’ in Northwest

After two consecutive years in which wildfires set acreage records in Washington, this fire season has been light. In fact, wildfires have been smaller and less destructive in Washington, Oregon and Idaho this year thanks to a heavy winter snowpack and some rain in the spring and summer.

Wildfire threat up for Idaho rangeland but forests OK so far

State and federal officials say Idaho faces an increased potential for rangeland wildfires in the south but forested areas in the north are in better shape at this point than last year. Wildland fire analyst Jeremy Sullens of the National Interagency Fire Center told the Idaho Land Board...

As costs mount, state’s fire season still isn’t over…

Although the Walker Fire east of Boise is now 100 percent contained, Idaho still hasn’t had a “season-ending event” – a sustained and wet enough storm to put an end to the fire season – state Forester David Groeschl told the state Land Board this...

Tough Idaho fire season destroys state, federal land

North Idaho forests are burning this year, and despite controversy over management of federal lands, the fires are paying no attention to whether it’s private, state or federal land they gobble up. In fact, two of the state’s most destructive fires, the Cape Horn fire that burned six homes near Bayview and the Clearwater Complex that destroyed 42 homes in Kamiah, have burned largely on private, tribal or state land – in the Cape Horn case, land owned by a private timber company, Stimson Lumber.

Idaho wildfire season worst since 1926

BOISE – Fire conditions in Idaho are the worst they’ve been since 1926, the state forester reports, and things are only looking to get worse. In the past week, the state’s estimate of its firefighting costs for the season has jumped by $10 million to roughly $25 million, said state Forester David Groeschl. The number of major fires requiring incident management teams on lands that Idaho Department of Lands protects has increased from four to 12.

Grim assessment: Worst fire conditions on state lands since 1926

Idaho’s state Land Board got a grim assessment of the ongoing fire season this morning, particularly as it affects lands within the state Department of Lands’ fire protection responsibilities – which include the raging Clearwater Complex fires in north-central Idaho. “We had over 150 fire...

Firefighters camp at Priest Lake will be used for regionwide deployments

Firefighters will be a common sight in Priest Lake this summer, with the creation of a camp that will dispatch crews to wildfires throughout the region. The facilities set up at the Priest Lake Ranger District will host up to 150 firefighters at a time. The camp was created to house crews currently working to suppress three wildfires burning near Priest Lake and Bonners Ferry, and it will remain in place after those fires die down.

Prepping for wildfire season

OLYMPIA -- With a warning that Washington may be in for another difficult wildfire season, Gov. Jay Inslee and Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark did their annual exercise to emphasize fire safety and preparedness.

Inslee: Fires will worsen without emission control

OLYMPIA – With wildfire season approaching, Gov. Jay Inslee used an annual exercise to push for more controls on carbon emissions, saying forest fires will get worse in Washington if the nation doesn’t cut greenhouse gases. The state is facing what Inslee called “the three horses of the fire Apocalypse” – drought, heat and a beetle infestation that’s killing trees – and doubled its wildfire-fighting budget this year. The number of wildfires in Washington could quadruple by 2030 if steps aren’t taken to reduce carbon pollution and slow climate change, he said.

Federal fire agencies face budget cuts

BOISE – With a “difficult” fire season looming, across-the-board budget cuts are now hitting federal firefighting agencies. The result: There will be hundreds fewer firefighters deployed to battle wildfires across the nation this year. “We’re going to be faced obviously with a difficult fire season, make no mistake about that,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said during a Monday visit to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, where nationwide wildfire efforts are coordinated. “The resources are limited. Our budgets have obviously been constrained.”