Department of Natural Resources

All the rain we expected this week is in direct contrast to last year, when Washington was dry and wildfires made the air the most hazardous in the nation because of the smoke.

Washington Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz says this year’s fire season has turned out much different than she anticipated back in the spring, when a record 54 fires had been reported by the second week of March.

Washington's Governor Signs Three Dozen New Laws

Apr 19, 2019

It’s bill signing season for Washington Governor Jay Inslee, who signed several pieces of legislation into law on Wednesday. Friday he affixed his signature to another three dozen bills.

One new law requires the state Fish and Wildlife Commission to adopt rules that requires hunters to wear either florescent orange or, in what’s new here, florescent pink. The sponsor, Republican Sen. Lynda Wilson, wore a bright pink vest to the signing ceremony.

Washington Department of Natural Resources

Washington state Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz is commenting on President Trump’s tweet Wednesday that he may cut off FEMA funding to California for wildfires if the state doesn’t “get its act together.”

City of Spokane

The Spokane Fire Department is an agency that works mostly in city settings, but more and more, it’s responding to fires at the edges of the urban area. This year, it went well beyond what it had budgeted for wild land firefighting. On Monday, it will ask the city council to extend its budget to cover those extra costs.

Washington Lands Commissioner On Preparing For Wildfires

Nov 29, 2018
Washington Department of Natural Resources

For several days recently, the country’s eyes were glued to the wildfires burning in California as they destroyed thousands of homes and killed dozens of people. The fires ignited a national debate about the need to be more aggressive in managing forests to lower the risk of fire.

The catalysts in Washington were the wildfire seasons of 2014 and 2015. Hundreds of thousands of acres burned during hot, dry, windy summers in the eastern and central parts of the state.

Gary Robertson/Flickr Creative Commons


The smoke from area wildfires can pose a health threat to humans, but you may be surprised to learn that researchers are also trying to find out the negative impacts the smoke may have on birds.

Spokane Air Improving Slightly, But Still a Problem

Aug 20, 2018
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

UPDATED at 12:25 pm:

The Spokane Regional Air Quality Agency says the county's air has improved from "hazardous" to "unhealthy," due to smoke from wildfires around the region.

The agency has declared Monday and Tuesday as "Air Quality Action Days."

You can get more information or sign up for alerts at the agency's website.

Eastern Area Incident Management Team


UPDATED Wednesday at 5:30 pm

Two wildfires that we have been following continue to burn today.

The Silver Lake Fire three miles from Cheney is now burning at 330 acres. That is up from the 100 acres previously reported. Department of Natural Resources spokesperson Guy Gifford said that increase is mostly due to better mapping of the fire.

The fire did increase by 30 acres, but that involves burning between the two spot fires that make up the Silver Lake Fire.

Region's Air Quality Worsens Due to Wildfire Smoke

Jul 20, 2018
Jeremy Burnham/SPR

With several fires burning in the Northwest, air quality has become a concern. The Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency reports that the air classification in and around Spokane has moved between “moderate” and “unhealthy for sensitive groups” today.

Deer Park High School Serves as Practice Fire Camp

Jun 19, 2018
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

When a wildfire ignites and firefighters are called to put it out, they not only bring the equipment they need to battle the fire. They also bring a whole logistical system to take care of their personal needs. Sometimes on the big fires, that support system becomes quite an operation.

You can get a sense of what that looks like this week at Deer Park High School, north of Spokane.