Today is Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018

FIRE
Crescent Mountain Fire landscape shows battle scars

Crescent Mountain Fire landscape shows battle scars

From a vantage point on top of Buttermilk Butte, the remnants of the Crescent Mountain Fire could be seen last week sending up scattered plumes of white smoke as the fire smolders and creeps along forested slopes and in drainages near the Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness area to the south.
Twisp River Horse Camp survives the flames

Twisp River Horse Camp survives the flames

As the Crescent Mountain Fire burned tens of thousands of acres up the Twisp River, many in the local and regional horseback riding community worried that a favorite horse camping site, the Twisp River Horse Camp, would be lost. But as the flames receded, there was some good news. Bill Ford, who joined the Back Country...
Forest Service evaluating fire-related road, trail closures

Forest Service evaluating fire-related road, trail closures

Local U.S. Forest Service officials this week were evaluating road and trail closures in areas impacted by the Crescent Mountain and McLeod fires, to determine where and when the closures can be lifted. “We anticipate that very soon we will bring everything [closures] back to the fire perimeter area,” said Chris Furr, Methow Valley district ranger....
Prescribed burning planned on over 5,300 acres across eastern Cascades

Prescribed burning planned on over 5,300 acres across eastern Cascades

Starting this month, fire managers plan to begin prescribed burning on 5,300 acres of U.S. Forest Service land on the east slope of the Cascades, with almost half of the total amount of acreage in the Methow Valley Ranger District. Fewer acres may be burned if conditions are not favorable, said Rob Allen, forest fire staff...
Repair work continues as McLeod, Crescent fires contained

Repair work continues as McLeod, Crescent fires contained

Smoke is still lingering in the lower valley and creating periods of unhealthy air, but other evidence of the wildfires that stole much of the Methow Valley’s summer is fading away. The huge incident command post at the Blues Ranch near Winthrop, which supported about 1,300 people and firefighting equipment during the peak of wildfires a...
Fire crews working on ‘suppression repairs’ in burned areas

Fire crews working on ‘suppression repairs’ in burned areas

Crews using heavy equipment are focusing on repairing more than 160 miles of fire lines created in the fight to keep the Crescent Mountain and McLeod fires from advancing on residential areas. Called “suppression repair,” the effort involves restoring land that has been disrupted by heavy …
Still a need to assess the health risks for wildland firefighters

Still a need to assess the health risks for wildland firefighters

Little research so far on long-term effects By Marcy Stamper Wildland firefighters face many risks on the job — working near flames in thick smoke with heavy machinery and sharp tools — but there has been relatively little research into the long-term health impacts of their work. A new law creating a voluntary nationwide registry of cancers in firefighters...
Twisp River Blues

Twisp River Blues

By JoAnn Metzler I wish that this fire was done, It hasn’t been very much fun. The smoke and the ash and the haze make for long indoor days. Yellow shirts scope out our place, declare it defensible space. We stare out the windows and grieve, but it’s just too hard to leave. Gotta run...
Wildfire advantageous to wildlife — or not

Wildfire advantageous to wildlife — or not

Some ecological tradeoffs part of post-burn process By Marcy Stamper Animals and birds flee when a wildfire engulfs their home, but some species soon return to take advantage of food and nest sites created by the blaze. Escape can be difficult for animals that don’t move fast, and some individuals do perish, said biologist Kent...
Favorable weather helps firefighters gain some ground

Favorable weather helps firefighters gain some ground

All previous evacuation levels remain in place By Ann McCreary Firefighters on the Crescent Mountain and McLeod fires, as well as Methow Valley residents, got a welcome break last weekend with the arrival of cooler, damper weather — and even some light rain. The favorable weather conditions over the weekend provided what fire managers called a “turning...