Lightning sparks 51 new wildfires in Oregon more in Washington

first_imgSEATTLE (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama signed a disaster declaration Tuesday for Washington.It orders federal aid to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by wildfires from July 9 to Aug. 5. It specifically mentions Okanogan County and the Confederated Tribes of Colville Reservation and says federal funding is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation in all areas within the state.The Federal Emergency Management Agency is surveying damage and may designate more counties for assistance.GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Lightning has started dozens of new wildfires in the Northwest, forcing incident commanders to juggle crews and equipment Tuesday as a new round of storms approached.Meanwhile, three firefighters who deployed emergency shelters when a thunderstorm whipped up the flames of a Northern California blaze were released unhurt from a hospital Tuesday, but they weren’t yet back on the fire line.Corey Wilford, a spokesman for what’s been dubbed the Beaver Fire, said there was no immediate word whether an investigation will be conducted, but they are usual in cases like this. The firefighters’ names were not released.Red Flag warnings for hot, dry winds remained in effect in the mountainous area of Siskiyou County, about 15 miles northwest of Yreka. About 150 rural homes have been evacuated. The fire was 30 percent contained after burning across 44 square miles of the Klamath National Forest north of the Klamath River.last_img read more