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Thread: Washington State Faces Wildfire Warnings

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    Washington State Faces Wildfire Warnings

    https://www.q13fox.com/news/evacuati...-destroy-homes

    Multiple wildfires burning in Pierce County destroyed several homes early Tuesday morning and prompted evacuation orders for some neighborhoods. Later in the day, evacuations were also ordered for portions of Thurston County.

    Air quality is expected to remain poor in western Washington throughout the day Tuesday. Everyone, especially those in sensitive groups, should stay indoors and avoid strenuous outdoor activity if possible.
    Thurston County fire officials have implemented an evacuation notice for residents in the Mima, Bordeaux Road, Barboullat areas due to a large brush fire Tuesday evening. Thurston County Sheriff's Office and West Thurston Fire said the reunification place for evacuees will be at Littlerock Elementary and an animal shelter will be available at the Thurston County fairgrounds.

    Those needing assistance should contact TC Emergency Management at 360-867-2800.

    ccording to The Olympian, the brush fire is reported 10 acres, moving southwest of Bordeaux and Mima roads.

    A brushfire in Graham exploded overnight, burning 100 acres and gutting at least eight homes in the 15400 block of 240th Street East. Evacuation orders remain in place for the El Dorado Estates neighborhood as of 6:30 a.m. Tuesday.

    Graham Fire Chief Steve Richards said no people have been injured, but some livestock may be missing.

    Other fires are burning in the Sumner and Bonney Lake areas. Evacuation orders are in effect in those areas too. Text PCALERT to 888777 to sign up for additional updates.

    Officials are warning people not to fuel the fires, 90 percent of which are human-caused:

    -Avoid anything that can spark, from grills to mowers
    -No cigarette butts out the car window
    -If towing, secure all chains & don?t let them drag.

    Pierce County and Kitsap County fire officials have implemented an immediate outdoor burn ban in the areas due to the rise in fire dangers and exhausted resources. This includes any outdoor recreational burning such as fire pits and charcoal burning.

    East Pierce Fire says the evacuation areas include Meyers Road in Bonney Lake and some areas along Sumner Tapps Highway East in Sumner. Winco Foods complex was evacuated as well.
    Wildfires are burning across all of Washington

    Evacuation orders are in place near Bonney Lake and homes were destroyed in Graham.

    A number of roads are closed in the area as of 6:55 a.m. Tuesday. Check the latest Pierce County road closures here.

    School has been canceled today in the Puyallup, Orting, Sumner-Bonney Lake and Federal Way school districts.

    SR-410 is closed in both directions in several areas, including between 181st Avenue East and 166th Avenue East. On Tuesday, WSDOT said SR 410 has an extended closure east of Enumclaw, between milepost 29 and 31, near Southeast Mud Mountain Road.

    The closure will be in effect for the next several days. At this time, WSDOT says there are no detour options.

    The wildfires burning in Pierce County are among the many wildfires burning across Washington state. On Monday alone, nearly 300,000 acres burned in Washington.
    Air quality poor statewide as wildfires burn

    On Monday alone nearly 300,000 acres burned in Washington state.

    Fire crews are getting the upper hand on the Evans Canyon fire in Yakima and Kittitas counties, which has burned more than 75,000 acres.

    The Cold Springs fire just south of Omak in Okanogan County is threatening the entire town of Mansfield and at least 150 other homes.

    All of Mansfield has been evacuated, and the fast-moving fires destroyed 80 percent of the town of Malden in one day.

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    Yes There are more states besides California that are reporting Wildfire warnings and Smoke alerts due to wildfires.

    Nearly every structure in a small town in eastern Washington state was destroyed in a raging wildfire on Monday as weather conditions have allowed blazes to grow across the Pacific Northwest.

    The Whitman County Sheriff's Office said in a news release that a blaze dubbed the Malden Fire erupted around noon and was fueled by "extremely high winds," timber and dry fields that allowed a "firestorm" to develop. Within hours, the blaze destroyed 80% of the homes and structures in the small town of Malden, located about 35 miles south of Spokane.

    "The scale of this disaster really can't be expressed in words," Whitman County Sheriff Brett Myers said in a statement. "The fire will be extinguished but a community has been changed for a lifetime. I just hope we don't find the fire took more than homes and buildings. I pray everyone got out in time."


    There are no reports of deaths or injuries in Malden as of Tuesday morning

    According to the sheriff's office, the town lost its fire station, post office, city hall, library and most of its homes as well as "other prominent buildings."

    A fast-moving wildfire destroyed 80% of Malden. Wash. on Monday, according to officials. (Whitman County Sheriff's Office)

    Several other large fires were reported around 11 a.m. on Monday across Whitman County in the Colfax area, located about 32 miles south of Malden.

    A fast-moving wildfire destroyed 80% of Malden. Wash. on Monday, according to officials. (Whitman County Sheriff's Office)

    "Winds of 45 mph and dry ground fueled the flames at an alarming rate of speed," the sheriff's office said.

    The town of Malden, Wash., lost its fire station, post office, city hall, library, and most of its homes as well as "other prominent buildings." (Whitman County Sheriff's Office)

    Deputies responded to Malden after being notified around noon of the "aggressive nature and direction of the fire," going door-to-door and making announcements on vehicle PA systems, notifying residents of the fire and the potential danger to life and property.

    A fast-moving wildfire destroyed 80% of Malden. Wash. on Monday, according to officials. (Whitman County Sheriff's Office)

    Whitman County Emergency Management, the sheriff’s office, and Fire Incident Command are still working on a plan to take inventory of the damage and to account for residents who were in their homes or in the communities when the firestorm hit.

    RELATED: Hurricane-force winds kick up Pacific Northwest wildfires

    Washington Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz described the fires on Monday across the state as "heartbreaking and surreal," as 300,000 acres across the state have burned.

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    https://www.khq.com/fires/dnr-closes...58f1872fc.html


    OLYMPIA - The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is closing all of the lands it manages east of the Cascades to recreation due to fire danger.

    According to the DNR, the closure will be in effect at least through Friday, September 11, and staff will evaluate the possibility of extending the closure as the week progresses.

    The closure follows a rash of new fires that broke out across the state on Monday, September 7.

    "We had a historic fire event yesterday - 58 new wildfire starts and nine large fires on the landscape, compounded by hurricane-level winds," Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz said. "That dangerous combination led to smoke-filled skies and low visibility, which grounded our aircraft and limited out ability to fight the fire from the air."

    "The destruction we have seen is unimaginable. My heart breaks for the residents of Malden who have seen their homes destroyed," Franz continued.

    High east wind conditions are expected to continue into the week, keeping wildfire risk extreme. The hot, dry and fast-moving winds are extremely dangerous as they cause fire spread to behave in unpredictable ways and make fires challenging to get under control.


    As there was no lightning yesterday and none in the forecast for the next few days, the overwhelming majority of wildfires the DNR is responding to are presumed to be human-caused. The agency has responded to 106 fires caused by recreation so far this year.

    "Whenever we close recreation lands to the public, our only motivation is safety," Franz said. "With more than 300,000 acres burning since Monday, this remains a very volatile and dangerous situation. Because of the scale of these fires, our state's resources are fully deployed. We are holding nothing back. But that means we must take every possible precaution to prevent new fires from being started. That's why we've taken action."

    Some areas had already been closed for recreation due to the Evans Canyon Fire in Yakima and Kittitas counties, where the BBQ Flats and Wenas recreation areas were closed, as well as the Yakima River Canyon. That fire has burned more than 75,000 acres and is 70 percent contained.

    Additionally, timber harvest activities on DNR-managed lands have been shut down at least through Thursday morning because of potential fire risk caused by the ongoing gusty conditions, warm temperatures, and low humidity across Washington. All timber sales and fuel mitigation work on U.S. Forest Service lands performed under DNR’s Good Neighbor Authority has also been halted.

    The DNR will announce the reopening of public lands for recreation and the resuming of timber harvest activities when it becomes safe to do so.

    Here is more on the Washington State Wildfires.

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    https://www.kxly.com/i-didnt-realize...y-malden-fire/

    New Fallout from the Washington State fires

    SPOKANE, Wash.– We often see wildfires and other natural disasters strike and never expect them to happen to us.

    On Monday night, it did happen to Tim Whisenand, and one day later, we walked with him on the land his house used to stand on.

    He walked over piles of rubble and ash which were actually the only remains of certain things in his home like the front room, the kitchen, his front porch and even his bike.


    Trees surrounding the home charred yet some were still standing. Whisenand said one of them even fell over and “blew something up” as flames took over his home.

    But moments like that, taking in the damage done to a home, we realize the things that we think are important, often aren’t.

    It’s not the loss of a kitchen or bicycle that hurts Whisenand.

    “That doesn’t bother me,” he said. “What bothers me is I could’ve made better decisions on what I grabbed.”

    Whisenand made it out safely before the wildfire burned down his home. but there just wasn’t enough time for him to grab more than a few important documents.



    He wishes he could have grabbed those irreplaceable mementos. He has spent decades working internationally as a teacher.

    Now, the photos and souvenirs from those experiences are burnt to ash.

    “I didn’t realize how fast the fire would get here, so they’re gone,” Whisenand said.

    He’s now staying at a nearby hotel for the time being, trying to stay positive in a time of despair.

    He often joked and held an optimistic attitude while walking through what used to be his home, which he just moved into 4 months ago.


    Whisenand thinks he’ll have the means to rebuild and keep living in the Malden area, but that’s not something every homeowner in town will be able to do.

    “I have insurance,” he said. “A lot of people up here don’t… a lot of poor people are gonna be suffering.”

    Fire crews told 4 News Now Tuesday no one has been injured in the Malden wildfires. They sent crews early Tuesday morning to look for anyone who may have been trapped, but they found nothing.

    The town is still expected to be shutdown for 24-48 hours as crews identify the buildings lost.

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    https://www.ksbw.com/article/unprece...omes/33972067#


    ESTACADA, Ore. —
    Windblown wildfires raging across the Pacific Northwest destroyed hundreds of homes in Oregon, the governor said Wednesday, warning: “This could be the greatest loss of human life and property due to wildfire in our state’s history."

    Firefighters struggled to contain and douse the blazes fanned by 50 mph wind gusts and officials in some western Oregon communities gave residents “go now” orders to evacuate, meaning they had minutes to flee their homes.

    The destructive blazes were burning in a large swath of Washington state and Oregon that rarely experiences such intense fire activity because of the Pacific Northwest's cool and wet climate.

    The fires trapped firefighters and civilians behind fire lines in Oregon and leveled an entire small town in eastern Washington. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown warned that the devastation could be overwhelming from the fires that exploded Monday during a late-summer wind storm.

    “Everyone must be on high alert,” Brown said. “The next several days are going to be extremely difficult.”

    No fatalities from Oregon's fires had been confirmed by Wednesday afternoon, but Brown said some communities were substantially damaged, with “hundreds of homes lost.”

    The precise extent of damage was unclear because so many of the fire zones were too dangerous to survey, said Oregon Deputy State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple.

    “Quite frankly, we are not even able to get into these areas," she said.

    In Washington state, the body of a child was discovered in an area where a giant wildfire had burned but the cause of death was not immediately available, said state Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz.

    The Pacific Northwest scenes of lines of vehicles clogging roads to get away from the fires were similar to California's terrifying wildfire drama, where residents have fled fires raging unchecked throughout the state.

    But Pacific Northwest officials said they did not recall so many destructive fires at once in the areas where they were burning.

    Sheriff's deputies, traveling with chain saws in their patrol cars to cut fallen trees blocking roads, went door to door in rural communities 40 miles south of Portland, telling people to evacuate. Since Tuesday, as many as 16,000 people have been told to abandon their homes.

    “These winds are so incredible and are spreading so fast, we don’t have a lot of time," said Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts.

    Fires were burning in seven Oregon counties and rural and suburban homes miles away from Portland, Oregon's largest city, were under preliminary orders to prepare for possible evacuations. Three prisons were evacuated late Tuesday and Brown called the state's blazes unprecedented.

    The Pacific Northwest is no stranger to wildfires, but most of the biggest ones until now have been in the eastern or southern parts of the region — where the weather is considerably hotter and drier and the vegetation more fire-prone than it is in the region's western portion.

    Fires in 2017 and 2018 crested the top of the Cascade Mountains — the long spine that divides dry eastern Oregon from the lush western part of the state — but never before spread into the valleys below, said Doug Grafe, chief of Fire Protection at the Oregon Department of Forestry.

    “We do not have a context for this amount of fire on the landscape," he said. “Seeing them run down the canyons the way they have — carrying tens of miles in one period of an afternoon and not slowing down in the evening – (there is) absolutely no context for that in this environment.”

    Fire crews were focusing on trying to keep people out of harm's way and preventing houses from burning on Wednesday, with officials saying that containing the fires was a secondary priority. There was concern that fires south of Portland could merge and become a much larger inferno that would be more difficult for firefighters to handle.

    “We’re really at the mercy of the weather right now,” said Clackamas Fire District Chief Fred Charlton.

    In Washington state, Gov. Jay Inslee said more than 330,000 acres (133,546 hectares) burned during a 24-hour period — an area larger than the acreage that normally burns during entire fire seasons that lasts from spring into the fall.

    About 80% of the small eastern Washington farming town of Malden was leveled by flames from a fast-moving fire on Monday. Among the buildings that burned were the town's fire station, post office, City Hall and library.

    “It’s an unprecedented and heart-breaking event,” Inslee told reporters.

    He blamed hot weather, high winds and low humidity for the explosive growth of the fires.

    In Oregon, at least four major fires were burning in Clackamas County, a suburban county in Oregon that's a bedroom community of Portland. The entire county of nearly 420,000 people was put on notice to be ready to evacuate late Tuesday amid winds gusting up to 30 mph.

    Another major fire in southern Oregon prompted evacuation orders in much of Medford, a city of about 80,000 residents.

    And several huge blazes burning in Marion County, southeast of the state's capitol city of Salem, merged overnight — turning the sky blood red in the middle of the day. Thousands of people were braced to flee if evacuation orders emerged.

    “It was pitch black dark out there — all you could see was red,” said Wendy Phelps-Chapman, activity director at the Marian Estates independent senior living center in Sublimity, Oregon, which evacuated its 160 residents on Tuesday.

    Some school districts that had just begun distance learning canceled classes due to power outages or the threat of imminent evacuations or issued warnings Wednesday that classes might be canceled if fires spread closer.

    Wind storms downed power lines and tens of thousands of people lost power in the northwestern Oregon and southwestern Washington.

    ___

    Cline reported from Salem, Oregon. Associated Press writers Andrew Selsky in Salem , Rachel La Corte in Sumner, Washington, Nick Geranios in Spokane, Washington, and Lisa Baumann in Seattle contributed to this report.

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    https://www.foxnews.com/us/washingto...n-state-patrol

    A man in Washington state was arrested Wednesday after he was caught setting a fire in the brush along a highway, according to officials.


    Trooper Ryan Burke with the Washington State Patrol said on Twitter that the 36-year-old was caught in the median of State Route 167 in Puyallup, located just outside of Tacoma.

    The man was quickly arrested and taken to jail, according to Burke.

    WASHINGTON STATE WILDFIRE KILLS BOY, 1, LEAVES PARENTS SEVERELY BURNED

    A photo from the scene shows dry grass burning in the median of the road.

    A man was arrested in Puyallup, Wash. on Wednesday after he was caught setting a fire in the median of a state highway.

    "Joint team effort!!" Burke tweeted.

    Troopers told Q13 FOX the man from Puyallup told them he was looking for a camera.

    The fire started to spread and Puyallup Police were forced to close the northbound ramp on the highway, Q13 reported.


    Wildfires raging across the West Coast kill at least 7, including 2 children
    No further details have been released, but the suspect was taken to jail.



    Since Monday more than 50 fires have been ignited in Washington state, burning more than 300,000 acres.

    Grain from a collapsed grain elevator burns on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2020, in Pine City, Wash. The grain elevator collapsed when a wildfire swept through town on Monday.

    Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said Wednesday that low humidity, high temperatures and winds combined to likely make the one blaze in Sumner one of "the most catastrophic fires we’ve had in the history of the state.”



    At least seven people have died from the blazes along the West Coast.

    A helicopter makes a water drop, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020, on a hotspot of a wildfire burning in Bonney Lake, Wash., south of Seattle.

    In Washington, a 1-year-old boy died after his family was apparently overrun by flames while trying to flee a wildfire burning in the northeastern part of the state, Okanogan County Sheriff Tony Hawley said Wednesday.


    A tanker truck sprays water on a persistent hotspot of a wildfire on a ridge, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020, near Bonney Lake, Wash., south of Seattle.

    FOX12 reported that police confirmed that a boy and his grandmother died in a wildfire near Lyons, Ore. The Mail Tribune in Medford, Ore., reported that Jackson County Sheriff Nathan Sickler confirmed at least one death and a criminal investigation at the origin point of a wildfire that started near Ashland. Three others have died in California.


    Weather conditions are not expected to improve greatly anytime soon.

    The fire weather outlook for Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020.


    Despite slightly cooler temperatures near the coast and overall decreasing winds, an elevated fire threat continues Thursday across portions of the Southwest, Northern California, and the Northwest, where inland afternoon high temperatures will still reach into the 90s and 100s.

    Fox News' Janice Dean and Brandon Noriega and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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    https://komonews.com/news/local/fire...was-accidental

    GRAHAM, Wash. – The Pierce County Fire Marshal’s Office says the 244th Command Fire in Graham was accidental.

    The Fire Marshal’s Office says strong winds blew a tree into power lines Monday night causing very dry vegetation to catch fire.

    Graham Fire & Rescue's Assistant Fire Chief Steve Richards said high winds and tinder dry conditions led to what witnesses described Tuesday as a "war zone."

    Richards said the 911 calls started coming in just after 11 p.m. -- many of them from residents who said they were elderly needed help getting out of their homes.

    With that, the fire department issued Level 3 evacuation orders for about 100 residents.

    Several structures were destroyed in the fire.

    "This is one of six homes," said Richards pointing to the charred damage. "It's not just the house. It's everything in the house, the car, RV, the outbuildings, the shop and all his world possessions lost."

    Crews were able to control the fire and by Wednesday, the Level 3 evacuation notice was lifted, and people were allowed back to their homes.

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    https://komonews.com/news/local/gove...ed-by-wildfire

    MALDEN, Wash. -- The mayor of Malden says her small town in Whitman County will rebuild after a fast-moving wildfire left little behind.

    Governor Jay Inslee stopped in Malden on Thursday to get an up-close look at some of the extensive damage from a fast-moving wildfire that moved through the area on Monday.

    Dozens of homes and businesses were destroyed. Approximately 70-80% of the town is now gone, the town's mayor told KOMO News.

    The town's post office at the corner of Main Street and Moreland Avenue/Pine City-Malden Road was destroyed.

    The only thing left behind at an old grocery store across the street are several brick walls.

    And Malden’s only fire engine is now buried under a pile of rubble.

    "It’s just a shame," said Dale Flanigen, who lives just a couple of miles outside of town.

    It's hard for anyone to comprehend.

    Flanigen just tried to take it all in Thursday as he checked on what was left of a friend’s property.

    "More than sad," Flanigen told KOMO News. "I’ve watched this community start growin’ again, and it’s been hard on this community. People that were just – they were tryin’ to get ahead."

    Another major setback came on Monday when a wildfire destroyed everything in its path. No one was seriously hurt.

    Of the 130 homes in Malden, only 27 are still standing, the town's mayor told KOMO News. A church in town is also still standing.

    Much of Pine City just down the road is gone, too.

    "We hope the administration understands the depth of this disaster," Inslee said after meeting with local first responders and residents.

    Inslee says tons of debris will need to be removed in the coming weeks as the state waits to see if the federal government will step in to help Malden and other wildfire-impacted communities rebuild.

    Several utility crews put up new power poles and lines Thursday in several parts of Malden.

    Malden Mayor Chris Ferrell said her community – once a bustling railroad town - will essentially need to start from scratch.

    It'll be a difficult road for a place with so much history, she said.

    "I feel really good that they’re gonna come and help us out," Ferrell said.

    Inslee said the state is already taking steps to free up cash for families impacted by wildfires across Washington. He issued a proclamation on Thursday.

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    https://komonews.com/news/local/mass...t-sound-region

    SEATTLE - As hazy as it has been around Western Washington this week, the region has been spared the worst of the wildfire smoke and ensuing unhealthy air quality that has smothered much of Oregon and California this week, but unfortunately, the local air quality looks like it's about to get considerably worse.

    A shift in the winds is about to blow a 'super massive' plume of smoke from Oregon and California wildfires up into Western Washington Friday and it appears to want to hang around for the entire weekend.

    "It's actually overhead already but it's only starting to mix down to the surface so we expect air quality to really take a nose dive overnight,” said Andy Wineke with the Air Quality Program at the state Department of Ecology.

    Air Quality Alerts remain in effect for all of Western Washington into 11 a.m. Monday for air quality at unhealthy for all levels, or even worse.

    The soupy skies are more than an eyesore. They can be dangerous for people like Jay Gollyhorn, who suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema.

    “It's hard to breathe already but with this right now and then the heat on top of it, it's like it squeezes your chest,” Gollyhorn said.

    The poor air quality convinced public health officials to shut down COVID-19 outdoor testing sites in Auburn, Renton and Seattle until conditions improve. Despite the pandemic, experts said the smoke has too many toxic particles.

    “And you breathe them in and they don't get caught in your lungs,” Wineke said. “They can actually get into your blood stream. They can really lodge in there and lead to health issues."

    KOMO

    The Marine Winds Have Betrayed Us

    Usually, a southwesterly marine flow is welcome relief for both hot weather and smoky skies as clean, cool air from the ocean -- the one place you know where wildfires won't be burning -- blows in and carries whatever gunk is around off to the east and brings that fresh air in its place.

    But this time it's the victim of a double whammy, thanks to that historic easterly windstorm we had earlier this week. The storm's fierce -- and bone dry -- winds not only triggered several major new wildfires across Western Oregon and northern California, but the anomalous and persistent east winds blew all that smoke out over across the I-5 corridor, over the coast and out to sea, where a "super massive" plume of smoke has pooled just offshore.

    We can't have an east wind forever, and sure enough, our cooling marine breeze is set to come in Thursday night -- bringing relief from the record heat, but instead of blowing in fresh, clean, cool air, it's blowing in very smoky, dirty cool air.

    The smoke layer already reached the central Washington coast by Thursday afternoon with unhealthy conditions reported in Hoquiam. Forecast charts show that smoke will gradually blow northeast and cover the Puget Sound area and the rest of Western Washington during the day on Friday. Air quality levels are expected to be in the "unhealthy for all" range or perhaps even worse in spots.

    And air quality forecasters suggest Saturday could be even worse as the marine wind betrayal continues. Sunday? Perhaps more of the same. And the entire region will be in the gunk -- there will be no close place to escape the smoke. All in all it is looking like very poor air quality through the weekend: " 'Clean air' will become a relative term for most of this weekend," wrote forecaster Ranil Dhammapala with the Department of Ecology.

    What to do?

    Stinks for what would normally be a late summer weekend, but the best advice is to stay inside if you can and limit any outdoor exercise. Those who are really sensitive to air quality should really do what they can to stay inside. People with air conditioning should set them to recirculate. Otherwise, run an air purifier or build one with a box fan and furnace filter. Also, take a break from physical activity.

    The Department of Ecology has these additional handy tips to try and make the best of it.

    When does it end?

    We do finally have some rain coming in on Monday and Tuesday and hopefully not only will that help really mix out the ocean smoke but perhaps tamp down the fires too.

    The models we use to try to forecast wildfire smoke are still quite new and still in experimental stages. Plus, making forecasts beyond a day or two are challenged by the ever changing characteristics of the fires themselves and their corresponding smoke output.

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    https://komonews.com/news/local/mass...t-sound-region

    SEATTLE - As hazy as it has been around Western Washington this week, the region has been spared the worst of the wildfire smoke and ensuing unhealthy air quality that has smothered much of Oregon and California this week, but unfortunately, the local air quality looks like it's about to get considerably worse.

    A shift in the winds is about to blow a 'super massive' plume of smoke from Oregon and California wildfires up into Western Washington Friday and it appears to want to hang around for the entire weekend.

    "It's actually overhead already but it's only starting to mix down to the surface so we expect air quality to really take a nose dive overnight,? said Andy Wineke with the Air Quality Program at the state Department of Ecology.

    Air Quality Alerts remain in effect for all of Western Washington into 11 a.m. Monday for air quality at unhealthy for all levels, or even worse.

    The soupy skies are more than an eyesore. They can be dangerous for people like Jay Gollyhorn, who suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema.

    ?It's hard to breathe already but with this right now and then the heat on top of it, it's like it squeezes your chest,? Gollyhorn said.

    The poor air quality convinced public health officials to shut down COVID-19 outdoor testing sites in Auburn, Renton and Seattle until conditions improve. Despite the pandemic, experts said the smoke has too many toxic particles.

    ?And you breathe them in and they don't get caught in your lungs,? Wineke said. ?They can actually get into your blood stream. They can really lodge in there and lead to health issues."

    KOMO

    The Marine Winds Have Betrayed Us

    Usually, a southwesterly marine flow is welcome relief for both hot weather and smoky skies as clean, cool air from the ocean -- the one place you know where wildfires won't be burning -- blows in and carries whatever gunk is around off to the east and brings that fresh air in its place.

    But this time it's the victim of a double whammy, thanks to that historic easterly windstorm we had earlier this week. The storm's fierce -- and bone dry -- winds not only triggered several major new wildfires across Western Oregon and northern California, but the anomalous and persistent east winds blew all that smoke out over across the I-5 corridor, over the coast and out to sea, where a "super massive" plume of smoke has pooled just offshore.

    We can't have an east wind forever, and sure enough, our cooling marine breeze is set to come in Thursday night -- bringing relief from the record heat, but instead of blowing in fresh, clean, cool air, it's blowing in very smoky, dirty cool air.

    The smoke layer already reached the central Washington coast by Thursday afternoon with unhealthy conditions reported in Hoquiam. Forecast charts show that smoke will gradually blow northeast and cover the Puget Sound area and the rest of Western Washington during the day on Friday. Air quality levels are expected to be in the "unhealthy for all" range or perhaps even worse in spots.

    And air quality forecasters suggest Saturday could be even worse as the marine wind betrayal continues. Sunday? Perhaps more of the same. And the entire region will be in the gunk -- there will be no close place to escape the smoke. All in all it is looking like very poor air quality through the weekend: " 'Clean air' will become a relative term for most of this weekend," wrote forecaster Ranil Dhammapala with the Department of Ecology.

    What to do?

    Stinks for what would normally be a late summer weekend, but the best advice is to stay inside if you can and limit any outdoor exercise. Those who are really sensitive to air quality should really do what they can to stay inside. People with air conditioning should set them to recirculate. Otherwise, run an air purifier or build one with a box fan and furnace filter. Also, take a break from physical activity.

    The Department of Ecology has these additional handy tips to try and make the best of it.

    When does it end?

    We do finally have some rain coming in on Monday and Tuesday and hopefully not only will that help really mix out the ocean smoke but perhaps tamp down the fires too.

    The models we use to try to forecast wildfire smoke are still quite new and still in experimental stages. Plus, making forecasts beyond a day or two are challenged by the ever changing characteristics of the fires themselves and their corresponding smoke output.

  15. #15
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    https://www.king5.com/article/news/l...1-9a8cdce9fab1


    SEATTLE ? Smoke pollution worsened in Seattle, Portland and San Francisco on Friday due to wildfires raging in California and across the Pacific Northwest. Several West Coast cities and towns have some of the world?s worst air quality.

    According to AirNow.gov, Seattle had an air quality index (AQI) of 213 and considered "very unhealthy," as of 4:30 p.m. Friday. Parts of Portland had an AQI of 271 and San Francisco registered 221.


    According to IQair.com, Portland, Seattle and San Francisco, respectively, had the world's worst air quality at one point Friday, followed by Vancouver, B.C., Dubai and Kuwait.

    Public health officials warned residents to keep indoors with the windows shut, to set air conditioners to run on recirculated air instead of fresh, and to use air purifiers if they had them.

    Check the air quality index and forecast for your city on AirNow, which collects air quality information from dozens of agencies, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency and the Washington State Department of Ecology.

    The air quality index (AQI) is a measure of how healthy the air is with higher values indicating more air pollution.

    Unhealthy air quality means some members of general public may experience health effects, and people in sensitive groups may see more serious side effects.

    Wildfire smoke is expected to linger in the Pacific Northwest throughout the weekend.

    RELATED: 'Super-massive' cloud of wildfire smoke causing unhealthy air in Washington

    Air quality was slightly better in Snohomish County, measuring unhealthy for sensitive groups in Everett (105).

    The worst air quality in the region was on the Washington coast with Aberdeen (209) and Taholah (234) measuring very unhealthy air, which means the risk of health effects is increased for everyone.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wildfire smoke can irritate your lungs, cause inflammation, affect your immune system and make you more prone to lung infections, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

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    The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) says children, people over 65 years old, and those with existing health conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease or history of stroke are most affected by air pollution.

    DOH recommends these tips to take care of yourself and your family when air quality is poor due to wildfire smoke:

    Stay indoors and keep indoor air as clean as possible. Due to COVID-19, it may not be safe to seek clean air in a public place.
    Keep your home?s windows and doors closed when the outside air is smoky. Only open windows once the air quality has improved. Keep curtains drawn and blinds down to prevent it from getting too hot.
    If you run an air conditioner, set it to re-circulate and close the fresh air intake.
    Don?t add to air pollution by avoiding using candles, fireplaces or gas stoves, and don?t smoke indoors.
    Don?t vacuum unless your vacuum has a HEPA air filter, because it stirs up particles already inside the house.
    Create a DIY air filter using a box fan and a filter with a MERV 13 rating to improve air quality inside your home.
    Avoid physical exertion outside.
    Avoid driving, but if you must drive, keep the windows rolled up and turn on the air conditioner.

  16. #16
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    https://www.krem.com/article/news/lo...f-92cac6570dc4

    OKANOGAN COUNTY, Wash. — Washington Governor Jay Inslee is visiting Bridgeport in Douglas County after the town was severely damaged by the Pearl Hill Fire, according to a press advisory from the governor's office.

    Inslee arrived at 10:30 and is scheduled to meet with the Colville Nation at 11:45 a.m. Saturday.

    The Cold Springs and Pearl Hill Fires in Okanogan and Douglas Counties are burning a combined total of more than 365,000 acres on Friday.


    The Douglas County Sheriff's Office issued a water boil alert on Friday afternoon for the city of Bridgeport due to the Pearl Hill Fire. They said the city's water is unsafe for consumption without boiling.

    The Cold Springs Fire is burning approximately 187,689 acres near Omak, located in Okanogan County, and is 40% contained as of Friday night. It began burning at about 9:45 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 6.

    Authorities are investigating the death of a one-year-old child and serious injury of his parents that were found within the fire perimeter on Wednesday.

    Okanogan County Sheriff Tony Hawley identified the child's parents on Wednesday as 31-year-old Jacob Hyland and 26-year-old Jamie Hyland of Renton, Washington. A family member identified their son as Uriel Hyland.

    The family was trying to leave their property to get away from the Cold Springs Fire, Hawley said. Search-and-rescue crews found the couple and child along the bank of the Columbia River on Wednesday morning.

    Jacob and Jamie Hyland are in critical condition and receiving treatment for burns at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

    Homes and infrastructure are threatened by the fire, and several structures and outbuildings have already been lost. The fire's cause remains unknown.

    Columbia River Road is closed as crews work to contain the wildfire. There are several downed power poles in the area, so it is critical for people to stay out of the burn area if possible.

    There are Level 2 and 3 evacuations in place in place due to the fire.

    Okanogan County Fairgrounds is open for livestock and has areas for RV campers. The Red Cross is coordinating shelter for those that have been evacuated.

    Evacuees can contact the Red Cross at 509-670-5331.

    Pearl Hill Fire

    The Pearl Hill Fire is burning 178,000 acres nine miles east of Bridgeport, Washington, in Douglas County. It is 50% contained as of Friday.

    The Douglas County Sheriff has reduced the evacuation level in the area south of Hwy 172 (Road 14NE) from a Level 3 to a Level 2. The Rimrock Meadows Estates area remains at Level 2. SR 173 remains closed with a pilot car for locals.

    Crews say the fire has damaged bridges and roadways in the area.

    State Routes 17 and 172 and McNeil Canyon Road reopened on Wednesday to make evacuations and transportation of fire resources easier.

    The Pearl Hill Fire started when the Cold Springs Fire in Okanogan County spotted across the Columbia River on Monday.

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  19. #19
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    https://www.khq.com/fires/update-whi...234490015.html


    UPDATE: SEPT. 15 AT 4:30 P.M.

    The Whitney Fire is 85 percent contained after burning 127,403 acres.

    According to fire crews, a cold front created wind gusts up to 50 miles-per-hour which resulted in extreme fire behavior and rapid growth.

    On Tuesday, crews continue to mop up hot spots and strengthen control lines.

    UPDATE: SEPT. 11 AT 5:30 P.M.

    DAVENPORT, Wash. - The Whitney Road Fire burning near the town of Davenport has reached 123,000 acres and remains 20% contained.

    According to the Northwest Incident Management Team, on Friday, Sept. 11, firefighters focused efforts on reinforcing the north and south firelines with continued dozer work and mopping up hotspots.

    Lincoln County Sherriff’s Department and Fire Team managers are assessing evacuation areas to determine where and when it is safe to return. It is a priority to allow homeowners to return to their properties.

    UPDATE: SEPT. 10 AT 5:45 P.M.

    DAVENPORT, Wash. - The Whitney Road Fire continues to burn and is now estimated at 122,000 acres.

    As of Thursday, Sept. 10, the fire is 20 percent contained. Community members are doing everything they can to help put out this fire.

    Creston mother of five, Kathleen Strozyk, along side her 19-year-old son have been fighting the fire since the beginning.

    When the Whitney Road Fire first broke out, Strozyk and her son got the fire call. Her son went but she stayed behind.

    "I chose to stay back because we have five kids and we have other responsibilities," said Strozyk, "But, that worked out good because with big fires you need relief, and you don't have much relief with a small amount of people in town."

    As the fire continued to grow, Strozyk went to go help fight it, meeting up with her on en-route.

    "Everything to the south is on fire, you're driving through the fire to get to your son, so I was a little nervous," said Strozyk.

    Strozyk did nothing but work for 36 hours straight between her day job at the city doing maintenance and fire fighting.

    As for her 19-year-old son, Strozyk said he was fighting the fire for 52 hours before coming home to rest.

    "There is not a lot of relief so you do what you have to," said Strozyk.

    UPDATE: SEPT. 10 AT 12 P.M.

    The Whitney Road Fire located in Lincoln County, near Davenport, is now burning 122,000 acres. As of Thursday, the fire is 20% contained and 50% lined.

    Evacuations are still in place. Click here to learn more.

    https://www.khq.com/news/arson-suspe...f5dca5965.html


    A woman is behind bars after she is suspected of starting fires in east Spokane on Monday.

    According to Spokane Police, Officer Mohondro arrived on scene he saw some grass and a pallet on fire outside of a commercial business. SPD said there were no power lines around and there did not seem to be a reason for the start of the fire unless it was human caused.

    The same officer spotted another fire a few blocks away.

    SPD said the fire was next to an old oil drum under a tree which gave the fire the potential to explode into something much larger was very high. The Spokane Fire Department responded and put that fire out.

    Officer Mohondro asked for more units to respond to the area to look for a suspect.


    Police detained 36-year-old Christine Comello.

    Comello lied about her name to police but it was later discovered she had a warrant for her arrest.

    According to SPD, witnesses later identified Comello as the arson suspect.

    She was booked for 2nd degree arson, 1st degree arson and burglary.

    Update Christine Comello (36) is named as a person of interest for one of the wildfires in Washington State.

  20. #20
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    https://komonews.com/news/local/inco...t-of-lightning

    A storm moving onto the West Coast will finally scour out most of the smoke that has plagued the region for days, but it may prove to be both a blessing and a curse.

    As the smoke starts to make a mass exodus, another hazard creeps in - lightning.

    The rain that comes with the storm will certainly help tamp down the fire danger. The lightning firing up with this storm, however, is certainly not good for fire danger, and could start our wildfire cycle all over again.

    A few thunderstorms are possible Friday capable of heavy downpours, small hail, and dangerous cloud-to-ground lightning. Fortunately scattered showers will be efficient at dampening the landscape and reducing the threat of lightning-induced wildfires.

    Highs will only max out in the 60s to near 70 for most of the Sound on Friday, which is a bit cool for mid-September.

    The air quality should also improve greatly in Eastern Washington, where passing showers and gustier winds help lift the smog and smoke out of the wine country valleys and Columbia Basin.

    Showers will linger on Saturday and maybe into a part of Sunday too, primarily over the Olympic and Cascade Mountains. A stretch of cool and somewhat cloudy weather continues through early next week.

    A soaking rain is looking more probable Wednesday through Thursday of next week. After enduring weeks of a stagnant weather pattern, activity will begin to ramp up will more rainstorms and above normal precipitation forecast through the end of the month.

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