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Wildfire Season
Wildfire Season
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Beware of another bad fire season...

Art Douglas, a professor at Creighton University known as "The Weatherman," is predicting dry spring weather leading to an above-normal wildfire season. How do you prepare for fire season? 



Madeline updated 12 days ago

An above-average season or the usual conditions? Three predictions for the NCW wildfire season

(Originally posted on June 25, 2020)

This article also appeared in the Wenatchee World. View it here.

WENATCHEE—It’s been a fairly mild, wet spring and early summer, but full-season fire forecasts expect upcoming dry, warm summer weather could aggravate wildfires.

“Summers have been getting hotter and they have been getting dryer over time. All of that helps to increase the risk,” said Jonathan Fox, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Spokane. “Based on those long-range climate trends that we've been seeing, that would tend to give a little bit more gravity to the forecast.”

A robust fire season is correlated with hot weather and an availability of “starters,” according to Fox. Starts include lightning from dry storms, dry vegetation like sage brush and cheatgrass and human interference from burnings.

“You want the real hot weather and you want just a few dry thunderstorms to get a really big fire season,” Fox said.

The current fire season has been “typical” for north-central Washington, according to Chelan County Fire Marshal Bob Plumb. The Wenatchee Valley has seen a handful of small fires this season already, including a 100-acre brush fire in No. 2 Canyon.

World photo/Don Seabrook

“We're trying to stay ahead of it,” Plumb said. “Nothing's really gotten super big. I'd rather not have a smoky season.”

The Chelan County burn ban is currently at a moderate hazard level, but that could change in the coming weeks, according to Plumb. Outdoor burning is prohibited in Chelan and Douglas counties... (More)

Timothy replied 15 days ago

Wildfire season is coming — How do you prepare?

(Originally posted on April 20, 2020)

As spring turns into summer, most of us begin to mentally prepare for wildfire season. "How strong was the winter's snowpack? What do the season's fire forecasts look like?" In a normal year, I'd also begin stocking up on masks this time of year. 

What's your checklist for getting ready for a summer of potenital fires in North Central Washington?


Why isn't the Cold Springs/Pearl Hill fire the largest in state history?

(Originally posted on September 21, 2020)

I'm just curious--why aren't the Cold Springs and Pearl Hill considered the same fire, and therefore the largest in state history?

Reilly did a great job in this story pulling together the largest fires in the state's history. It shows the Carlton Complex fire was the largest in state history, but that was actually three separate lightning fires that merged together. In my understanding, the Cold Springs and Pearl Hill fires are actually the same fire--caused by the same spark. They are managed separately largely because they were too big to fight as one! It jumped the Columbia River! It covers huge swaths of two large counties!

I'm just wondering, is it the DNR that decides whether this will be considered the same, large fire, or someone else? And what do they say? I think for historic reasons, we need to see this fire as one, large, devastating blaze.

By the way, all of The Wenatchee World reporters and photographers did a fabulous job with your wildfire coverage. I really appreciated and depended on your coverage, and I look forward to your coverage of the aftermath. Thank you!