An NPR member station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Regional News

More Wind May Help, Hurt NW Firefighting Efforts Thursday

7.14_fire_map.png
Courtesy of Northwest Interagency Coordinating Center
/

Fire crews in the Northwest are bracing for more winds Wednesday evening as they battle wildfires that are burning hundreds of thousands of acres of parched land. The Northwest Interagency Coordination Center is tracking at least 15 major fires in Washington and Oregon. Others are burning in Idaho.
 
At several of those, fire bosses say they’ve had windows of calm weather that allowed crews to dig fire lines and stop flames from advancing. But the forecast calls for gusty winds to return in many areas. A Red Flag warning is in effect for most of eastern and central Washington.
 
That’s a mixed blessing. The winds will spread flames and embers, but the cooler air should lower unseasonably hot temperatures by 10 to 15 degrees for a few days and give firefighters a slight reprieve.
 
The winds should also blow out some of the smoke that’s lingering over much of the Inland Northwest. The air quality is considered unhealthy in parts of eastern Washington and northern Idaho.