As Hurricanes Slam The South, Shocking Images Show The Western US Is Literally On Fire

Authored by Carey Wedler via,

Amid the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and the impending destruction of Hurricane Irma, many Americans may not be aware that the western region of the country is suffering the opposite wrath of mother nature. From southern California to Washington, wildfires are engulfing thousands of acres of land and prompting thousands of evacuations. Many of the states battling the wildfires have been doing so all summer.

On Saturday, Washington Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency across the state due to the risk of wildfires, and the National Weather Service warned that 26 of the state’s 39 counties were at very high or extreme riskAccording to the Washington Department of Ecology, “[a]lmost all of WA [was] awash in wildfire smoke” on Sunday. The department noted air quality in many areas had suffered as a result. According to NASA satellite imagery, smoke is also being pushed eastward across the U.S.

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Just one fire in Washington, east of the Cascades at Jolly Mountain in Kittitas County, was burning 15,000 acres as of Saturday. The Seattle Times reported that “[r]oads in that area have been closed and about 3,800 homes have received Level 2 and Level 3 evacuation orders. Level 3 is the most urgent notice.” The Eagle Creek fire, burning on both sides of the Columbia River Gorge in Washington and Oregon, has torched 10,000 acres while the Norse Peak Fire in Pierce County has burned 19,000 and prompted evacuation orders. It has been burning since the middle of last month.

According to a map posted by the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center, wildfires are hitting various regions in both Washington and Oregon (they were also plaguing the region last month). Newsweek reported Tuesday that on Saturday, over 150 hikers were stranded in Oregon after a man-made fire possibly caused by fireworks gained steam.

Though the hikers are safe, “the fire grew to 3,000 acres overnight that first night. As of the morning of September 5th, the fire had grown significantly and had spotted across the Columbia River into Washington near Archer Mountain,” according to a government-issued incident report. Nearby residents have been served a Level 3 evacuation order, meaning rather than simply being ready to evacuate, they should evacuate right away.

The fire is now reportedly covering 4,800 acres, and nearly 300 personnel are working to contain it. It is being exacerbated by strong winds and high heat.

Larch Mountain and the communities of Dodson, Warrendale, Latourell, Bridal Veil, and East Corbett were all given Level 3 evacuation orders while other areas were upgraded from Level 1 to Level 2 warnings.

Late Sunday evening, the Oregon Weather Service warned that [c]onditions will get worse before getting better. Expect rapid westward movement of the fire as strong east winds continue through the night.” Air quality has worsened and some schools in Multnomah County, Cowlitz County, and Lower Columbia, Columbia Gorge were shut down as of Tuesday, Newsweek reported, with others closing early.

Authorities expect the fire to burn for the rest of September.

Even western Montana is burning. The Missoulan reported:

Winds whipped wildfires around western Montana into a renewed fury overnight Saturday into Sunday, briefly trapping firefighters, burning buildings, and forcing new mandatory evacuations.”


One fire outside Seeley Lake in Powell County grew more than 15,000 acres on Sunday, and “seven fires burning near Plains, Trout Creek and Thompson Falls grew large enough Saturday to warrant a takeover by the Western Montana Type II Incident Management Team.”

At one point on Saturday, every part of the state failed to register “good air” quality. Evacuation orders were issued for at least seven different fires. Montana has been battling fires since July.

Meanwhile, in California, over 10,000 firefighters have been working to contain 23 large wildfires across the state, the Sacramento Bee reported Tuesday. “Helena Fire in Trinity County is among the most troublesome, with 72 homes destroyed and more than 11,000 acres consumed about 5 miles northwest of Junction City,” the outlet reported.

Though the fire started last Wednesday, Cal Fire reported Tuesday morning that it was only 14% contained, with close to 1,500 firefighters working to put it out. Officials said it is burning in remote, steep terrain, and nearby residents have been issued evacuation orders.

A smaller fire in Butte County has burned over 4,000 acres and burned 32 homes but is currently 76% contained. Evacuation orders in that area have been lifted.

Lower-intensity fires have also plagued Yosemite and entered a grove of 2,700-year-old Sequoia trees. Thankfully, no trees have been killed so far due to their resilient bark and the less aggressive quality of the blaze.

Fires also raged in Los Angeles over the weekend, burning 7,000 acres in what was called the largest wildfire in the county’s history. Flames burned four homes and prompted the evacuations of 700 residents, along with a declaration of a state of emergency from Governor Jerry Brown on Sunday. That fire is now almost entirely contained.

Due to fires across the state, air quality alerts were issued for Mariposa, Tuolumne, Mariposa, Merced,  Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and Kern counties in California. Fires have been burning in the state all summer. The government’s Incident Information System lists 30 active fires of various sizes throughout the state.

In Idaho, multiple active fires are plaguing over 200,000 acres of land, with two fires alone scorching over 65,000 acres each so far. Fires in Idaho have been burning since July.

Fires are also burning in British ColumbiaUtah, and Colorado, though they are on a smaller scale.


Well-placed fears about storms on the Gulf coast are dominating national headlines, but the scourge of wildfires throughout the west is also straining resources, threatening wildlife, prompting vast evacuations, and endangering air quality for millions of people.


brewing_it Sep 6, 2017 6:55 PM Permalink

Still kind of an active planet isn't it? Climate change? Planet changing, destroying, renewing, shifting, never ending cycle for at least another 2 billion years.

sinbad2 Sep 6, 2017 5:18 PM Permalink

Trees that are not fire resistant will give way to fire resitant species of trees, as the south and south west of the US dries out.Australia had large native pine trees once, still does in areas not effected by fire, but in most part of Australia fire tolerant trees now prevail.

dlweld Sep 6, 2017 1:18 PM Permalink

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- sorry to be concerned (alarmist) but in BC (Canadian province) we've had close on to 4500 square miles of forest burn off so far this year - closing in on the area of the whole state of Connecticut - all up in smoke. Not built up areas at all - just forests hot and dry as never before. Even worse than last year's record. Dull red sun as I speak and we get ash coming down even though we’re several hundred miles from the main fires.

headless blogger Sep 6, 2017 1:06 PM Permalink

Its been going on and on and on and on, all summer. But especially bad right now in Washington. The entire state, even Seattle got it, is engulfed in smoke. We're in Eastern side and can't be outside very long without getting dizzy.

Jay Sep 6, 2017 12:10 PM Permalink

Not even the local news stations in Idaho Falls think the fires are newsworthy even though the smoke is so thick you can cut it with a knife.

Alok Sep 6, 2017 12:09 PM Permalink

since no one get hurt or died, just material losses, I can say: looks like God finally woke up, and is doing a good job, by keeping americans busy with internal issues...

TRM Sep 6, 2017 11:36 AM Permalink

Wet spring so everything germinated and grew like crazy then no moisture for a long time and everything turns to kindling. Add lightning and idiots tossing cigarette butts and you have massive fires. Wait for fall rains & winter snow to put it out is about all they can do.

BSHJ Sep 6, 2017 11:23 AM Permalink

As long as no 'celebrity' homes are burned, this is almost a non-story.  It is getting close to being a story 'cause the celebs are having to breath the fumes from the little peoples homes burning.

Kevin Trader Sep 6, 2017 11:14 AM Permalink

Well it does seem to be a bad year...maybe slack Jack is right after all. Sure you can argue mean reversion but where's the fun in that.Right now, I am going with Nostradamus prophecies of fires and floods, muslims streaming into eurpoe unopposed...I just need world war III to break out before I can confirm or some dick named Mabus to lose a naval battle

Bay Area Guy Sep 6, 2017 11:13 AM Permalink

We haven't had much in the way of fires in the Bay Area proper, but over the weekend, there was an offshore breeze blowing.  It blew all the smoke and the rest of the crap from the Central Valley back over the hills and down into the Bay Area.  Friday and Saturday were 108 and 106 respectively in my town, very unusual for us.  Certainly made for pretty uncomfortable breathing for a couple of days.

Solio Sep 6, 2017 11:06 AM Permalink

The ONLY true solutions are to fee, tax, charge interest, naked short sell, and inside trade against The People. And, send their kids to war.

aloha_snakbar Sep 6, 2017 10:59 AM Permalink

Starting last Saturday, SE (soda Springs) Idaho has averaged one or more earthquakes an hour. It sits right over the Yellowstone Hotspot Track, which was responsible for forming the entire Snake River Plain over the course of several million years via 12 huge eruptions.Storms, earthquakes, volcanoes, fire....what are we missing... frogs falling out of the sky, maybe ?

Wrenching Away Sep 6, 2017 10:52 AM Permalink

Students, want to make $15-$20 an hour this summer working in our beautiful national forests? Just bring yourself, a buddy, and a Bic to your nearest Greyhound terminal.-Warm Regards,George Soros

sheikurbootie Sep 6, 2017 10:53 AM Permalink

I worked in the firefighting industry for a few years.  The Western region is especially a racket.  I met several 100's of people that only worked for 3 months a year fighting fires and then bummed around the remainder.   These were not kids, these were 30 somethings that had been doing it for a decade.California is the worse abuser. Washington State is little better. I was told it was a racket and didn't believe it, until I saw it.  We had small lightning caused fire (100 acres) about extinguished and told the fire boss a few more drops and it would be O-U-T.  He called a radio wide "knock it off", meaning to stop fighting the fire.  We were called back 2 weeks later after the small 100 acre fire turned into a 1000 acre raging forest fire.  The forestry guys are paid 24 hours and only when there's a fire.  So, there needs to be a fire to be paid.   No fire?  Let's have a control burn and start one.Back Burning: The running joke was "if you have a kitchen fire, would you set your living room on fire to put it out?"The Forestry Dept. would deploy a helicopter borne ping pong napalm gun to start a back burn to "control burn" ahead of the path of the fire.  Never once did it work, never ever.  It 100% of the time turned into a raging forest fire.   The wind dynamics would be altered because unequal temperatures CAUSE wind.  The solution?Let it burn naturally.  STOP putting it out.  Fuel (leaves, pine needles, etc) builds up if you don't let it burn.  Lighting causes the most fire, so it's random and difficult to predict. 

torabora sheikurbootie Sep 7, 2017 9:26 AM Permalink

747 Supertanker was kept out of California because it carrys MORE fire retardant than its smaller brethran. It was finally allowed in when another Oroville fire sprang up thanks to homeless dude. They wanted that fire out because of the Oroville Dam optics.It's beyond obvious what is going on. Fire is a business and business is good. Like war.

In reply to by sheikurbootie

Jolt sheikurbootie Sep 6, 2017 11:22 AM Permalink

Please tell me and the rest of the world how 15 year-old white-trash boys from Vancouver Washington fit into your picture.Other peoples' kids started the blazes. Likely as bright as their brain-dead parents, they hiked into the wilderness of Oregon with their firecrackers and Bic lighters, went to the top of a cliff, lit the firecrackers, threw them down far below, and the rest is history. There were witnesses.The fierce winds, blowing east in the Gorge, caused the fires to hop from mountain-top to mountain-top. The entire Gorge was jeopardized so that other peoples' kids could do their "natural" white-trash thing. As of last night, there was zero containment, and for good reason: The fires are enormous and the winds were fierce.You and your ilk relentlessly post these "insider" stories here that prove nothing. They're just hogwash, designed to promote stupid thinking processes among your impressionable peers.So those are the facts, Mr. Ex-Firefighter. Your let-it-burn philosophy when white-trash people do their white-trash thing in order to devastate people, their livelihoods, and their homes, is insanity.

In reply to by sheikurbootie

TemporarySecurity sheikurbootie Sep 6, 2017 11:15 AM Permalink

We could actually go back to harvesting the trees before they burn. This idiocy of wanting all forest to have trees 5 feet away from each other is what is causing the epidemic of pine beetles spreading disease which kills half the forest.  In Colorado about two thirds of the trees are already dead and not usable for anything but firewood and when the fire starts going to be a devastating fire. .

In reply to by sheikurbootie

Manipuflation Sep 6, 2017 10:44 AM Permalink

That is how it is out west.  I saw it with my own eyes out in Idaho.  I think from what I saw that much of it is a natural progression. I will tell you what is not right.  I got my daughter on the bus this morning at 7:45 AM sharp.  Daughter is 12 year old.  Son is only six and he rides a different bus so I had to be involved.  That bus was late and the 475 driver flipped me off on the way by.  I had my son and three Korean kids with me.  I had my glasses on so I know what I saw and I didn't do anything or say a word.  So that is how it's going to be?  I can't make this shit up because I am not that good.  I can't believe it.As it turns out the Mr.s M got in the driver face yesterday morning and told him what for in probably two languages.  Who could have knode?  That little bit of info might have helped out.  Well, I am still not sure how it's my fault that my wife can be a bitch if she wants to be one.  I am not sure how I got involved because all I was doing was being silent and studying the situation.I guess there were over 300 calls and compliants about yesterday mis-adventures with the first day of Srewl.  I didn't call or complain to anyone. I don't know what the answer is to the problem.  I am going to go pound on my Honda Twinstar because it has an oil leak.  That will be good for me to do.  I am pretty sure it is a rubber gasket behing the cover on the shifter if it was like the CB450 I used to own.  I can turn the radio on that I bought from the local pawn shop and give the whole situation some though.

vietnamvet Sep 6, 2017 10:43 AM Permalink

Not only the western US, but Canada - especially the northern wilderness reaches - is ablaze with NO ONE FIGHTING THOSE FIRES.  And NO ONE has been interrupting the natural burn cycle with controlled burns - these massive fires are directly related to anthropogenic global climate change and are part of a positive feedback loop: warming from anthropogenic CO2 emissions turns CO2 absorbing forests into tinderboxes - tinderboxes burn dumping CO2 into atmosphere further increasing warming - CO2 absorbing forest gone - next forest please ... you get the drift.…

OverTheHedge vietnamvet Sep 6, 2017 12:00 PM Permalink

Um, it's natural. Alaskan fires start without any people to set them, burn all summer, without any help or hindrance, and often without a single human pair of eyes seeing it. If a tree burns in the forest without anyone there to hear it, does it release carbon dioxide?This is part of the life cycle - all natural, and has been happening before humans existed, and will happen long after humans are gone. The only difference now is that humans stop the fires (delay, actually), which just means they happen bigger and hotter, and so take longer to regenerate. But fundamentally, it makes no difference. Think of it as carbon atoms getting on the magic carpet Ride., and after most of Greece caught fire in 2007, I was sent this - most amusing, but a good read:… you're sick of your day job, I recommend parachuting into Alaskan wildfires as a good way to stave off ennui and world-weariness.

In reply to by vietnamvet