"Fire scientists are calling it 'the new normal': a time of fires so big and hot that no one can remember anything like it."
"The FLAME Act of 2009 was supposed to ensure the Forest Service had enough money to fight fires without having to cut into programs to provide recreation, protect habitat and improve forest health. But after Congress raided the fund established by the law during the 2011 standoff over the debt ceiling, and after further cuts this year, the fund is empty."
"MANTON, Calif. — Aided by a shift in wind direction, firefighters made a stand against a huge lightning-sparked wildfire burning on the edge of three small Northern California towns."
"Beside Seattle’s notoriously polluted Duwamish River, an excavator scoops up small pieces of waste metal and slings them onto a rusty mountain at Seattle Iron & Metals Corp. A pile of flattened cars and trucks squats nearby amid vast sheets of scrap metal. For at least the last four years, this auto-shredder and metal recycler has dumped more pollutants into the river than allowed under the federal Clean Water Act, government records show. The levels have ranged higher than 250 times above what’s known to harm salmon that migrate through the river."
"FEATHERVILLE, Idaho (AP) — Across the West, dozens of fires fueled by searing heat, dry weather and strong winds have added up to misery for weary residents who already are fed up with one of the region's worst fire seasons in decades."
Rural residents near forest tracts in Oregon have tested positive for 2,4-D (an ingredient in Agent Orange) and atrazine in their urine -- and they think timber companies are to blame.
"BLACHLY, Ore. -- Six years ago, Eron King, an artist and young mother, moved from the edge of Eugene to a creekside plot of forest valley so her two boys could grow up raising hens and Toggenburg goats.
"Firefighters battled wildfires across the U.S. West on Tuesday, including a massive out-of-control blaze that has destroyed 60 homes and burned more than 20,000 acres between two national forests in Washington state."
"Hundreds of firefighters battled a pair of wildfires that burned out of control in Northern California for a second day on Monday, threatening a clothing-optional resort and forcing the evacuation of some 500 homes. Meanwhile, authorities said a U.S. Forest Service firefighter was killed in Idaho while battling a blaze there."
"The [US Forest Service] abandons a long-held policy to let nature take its course on public wilderness lands. The long-term effects will be costly."