Extreme Fire Danger Forces Managers To Close Public Lands In WA, OR
Extremely hot and dry conditions have caused some land managers to close more recreation areas than normal. That means no hiking, no camping and no public access until the extreme fire danger lifts.
The brittle dry land and tightly stretched firefighting resources has led to larger closures than normal.
Three separate fires are burning through timber in the Umatilla National Forest, which spans Washington and Oregon.
Spokesperson Darcy Wessemen says officials closed the entire forest in a rare move to protect firefighters and the public.
Wessemen: “In the history of the Umatilla National Forest, we’re not aware that there has been a closure of this magnitude before. That just speaks to the unprecedented conditions that we’re experiencing.”
In another unprecedented move, Washington’s Natural Resource Department is closing all of the land it manages east of the Cascades.
The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation recently closed its land to the general public and industrial activities. Multiple fires are burning through the reservation.
This year in north-central Washington has echoes of 2015, when the complex of fires across Okanogan County burned tens of thousands of acres on the reservation, closer to Omak, and shut down Highway 155 across the reservation for long stretches. What was true then is very possible now: The fires took out a lot of timber that the tribes harvest and use for revenue. Continue Reading Echoes Of 2015 As Fires Burn Across Okanogan County, Force Evacuations In Nespelem
First a drought. Then record heat. Now Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has declared a statewide wildfire state of emergency. Continue Reading Washington Governor Issues Wildfire Emergency, Wider Burn Ban As Hot, Dry Conditions Persist
The National Weather Serivce is warning of extreme fire danger Tuesday night and Wednesday. Lightning storms, dry conditions and winds are expected to combine Tuesday evening and Wednesday, priming Eastern Washington and North Idaho for wildfires. Continue Reading High Inland Fire Danger Tuesday Night And Wednesday With Possible Lightning And Wind