Washington News

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Large homeless camp fire under I-5 in Seattle one of hundreds this year as worrisome trend continues

VIDEO: Fire damage was so extensive and intense at a homeless camp, firefighters say they are not able to determine how it started. The tall flames and huge black plume of smoke could be seen for a mile Sunday around 12:30 p.m. It was a shock for drivers on I-5 and a scare for those living in the encampment and nearby neighbors. The encampment fires have seen a spike this year and have become an increasingly worrisome trend in the city. "I kept saying to myself oh my god, oh my god, what’s going on," Andrew Hendry said. Hendry, of Seattle, was on I-5 in Seattle Sunday afternoon heading home and right toward the massive plume of smoke more than 100 feet into the air. "You see the flames and it was raging, raging," Hendry said. It was right under the Denny Way overpass with drivers above. "First thing, I saw the smoke and I thought homeless encampment fire," said Hendry. He's seen it before -encampment fires off the freeway.
KOMO-TV ABC 4 Seattle

Region: Study provides long-term look at ways to control wildfire in sagebrush steppe ecosystem

New research led by an Oregon State University scientist provides the first long-term study of methods to control the spread of wildfire in the sagebrush steppe ecosystem that dominates parts of the western United States. In recent years, the number, size and intensity of wildfires in the sagebrush ecosystem – which spans much of Nevada, Oregon and Utah, and portions of California, Idaho, Washington and Wyoming – have significantly increased primarily due to climate change and the spread of invasive grasses. Researchers studied several methods for decreasing fire intensity. They found application of herbicides had few long-term benefits; prescribed fire reduced the fire behavior metrics they tracked but led to more invasive grasses; and mechanical thinning reduced most fire behavior metrics without increasing invasive grasses as significantly.
Cannon Beach Gazette

Snohomish County officials hope to reduce the number of children falling out of windows

It can happen quickly and quietly: A curious toddler climbs up on some furniture and falls out a window. Everett Firefighter Rachael Doniger has heard of it happening far too often. "I know one story where the family was cooking dinner and the food had burned so they opened the window just for a second to let the smoke out of the house and the child fell out of the window that quickly," she said. A record 22 falls occurred in Snohomish County alone last year. Officials believe that number is probably higher because less serious falls are often not reported. Nationwide, about 5,000 children fall out of windows every year. About a dozen die. To keep your kids safe firefighters say don't rely on screens. They're actually designed to come out easily in case of a fire. Move furniture, including beds, away from windows.
KING-TV NBC 5 Seattle

Monday, May 23, 2022

Fairchild Airforce Base trains new firefighters ahead of fire season

Crews at Fairchild Airforce Base here in Spokane were training firefighters amid the upcoming fire season. One training activity included digging fire lines, which is used to expose the soil with the hopes of stopping the spread of a wildfire. They are getting hands-on training, helping address the problem the best way they can. “Hands-on training is always the best,” Leonides Beltran, a specialist in the National Guard, said. “That’s how we can stop fires.” About 80 national guardsmen were on the scene doing this training at the base earlier on Sunday. While they may not be at work fighting off wildfire, trainees are beginning to understand the importance of this training. “Training’s essential,” Beltran said. “That’s how you build a successful crew. you build successful team members.”
KXLY-TV ABC 4 Spokane

Seattle encampment fire spewed large plume of smoke over I-5, no injuries reported

An encampment fire under the Denny Way overpass spewed a large plume of smoke over I-5 Sunday afternoon. Seattle Fire crews responded to the fire at Eastlake Ave and Denny Way just after 12:30 p.m. No injuries have been reported and the cause of the fire is under investigation.
KOMO-TV ABC 4 Seattle

Everett Firefighters Rescue Dog, Contain Fire At Home In South Everett Mobile Home Park

Just before 1 PM Sunday Everett Fire crews were called to a mobile home park in the 7700 Block of Hardeson Road for reports of heavy smoke coming from one of the homes. There were no people there at the time and firefighters had to force entry to gain access to the fire. A dog was inside but was quickly accounted for. Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the general area of origin and keep it from spreading to other rooms but the home suffered serious damage and the residents will need to make repairs before they can live in it again. There were no injuries and an investigator with Everett Fire has been called to the scene to determine the cause.
My Everett News

Wildfire season is fast approaching; Here’s what Gig Harbor is doing to be prepared

May is wildfire prevention month, and the city of Gig Harbor is doing what it can to prepare for wildfire season. To make sure your home or neighborhood is prepared for the coming fire season, the Pierce Conservation District, East Pierce Fire & Rescue, Orting Valley Fire, Greenwater Fire and Washington State Department of Natural Resources have teamed up for a Virtual Firewise Seminar that will take place May 25 at 6 p.m. for communities, home owners associations and property owners. “We are supporting and encouraging the virtual seminar, and the programming will be geared more towards the homeowner, providing information on how people can mitigate wildfire risks in our communities and in our neighborhoods,” said Eric Waters, division chief at Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One.
The News Tribune

Burned bear cubs return to the wild nearly one year after Lake Chelan, Cedar Creek wildfires

Last week, three bear cubs returned to their natural habitat. The bears were badly burned during last year's wildfires near Lake Chelan and Cedar Creek. Rich Beausoleil, a bear and cougar specialist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, was involved in the capture of the injured cubs last year. This week, he helped release them. "After our response, capture efforts, and many months of intense rehabilitation, this week's release of the bears burned in the North Cascades fires last year went extremely well," Beausoleil said. "The bears, who last year could barely walk, came blazing out of the transport cages, running like champs! They ran down the trail for about 25 yards and then veered off into the woods where they were born and never looked back. "
KIMA-TV CBS News Yakima

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