Wednesday December 2nd, 2015 2:02AM

Obama declares Washington wildfire emergency

By The Associated Press
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- Wetter, cooler weather has helped firefighters make progress in their efforts to get the largest wildfire in Washington state's history under control.<br /> <br /> With more rain in the forecast, crews worry that moisture could lead to flash floods after so much ground vegetation has been burned away.<br /> <br /> The Carlton Complex of fires, which has burned nearly 400 square miles in the north-central part of the state and destroyed 150 homes, was 16 percent contained as of Tuesday, fire spokeswoman Jessica Payne said.<br /> <br /> The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch from Wednesday morning through evening because of expected heavy rainfall.<br /> <br /> "It takes as little as 10 minutes of heavy rain to cause flash flooding and debris flows in and below areas affected by wildfires," the advisory said. "Rain runs off almost instantly from burned soils ... causing creeks and drainages to flood at a much faster rate than normal."<br /> <br /> Still, the shift in weather was a positive development.<br /> <br /> "The cooler weather and the moisture has cooled aspects of the fire down," fire spokeswoman Susan Peterson said Tuesday evening. "In some instances, firefighters were able to do a direct attack.<br /> <br /> "We had additional crews come in, and they were able to put lines in closer to the fire itself."<br /> <br /> Speaking at a fundraiser Tuesday in Seattle, President Barack Obama said the wildfire, along with other western blazes, can be attributed to climate change.<br /> <br /> "A lot of it has to do with drought, a lot of it has to do with changing precipitation patterns, and a lot of that has to do with climate change," the president said.<br /> <br /> Obama signed an emergency declaration Wednesday because of wildfires burning the past two weeks in the state. The declaration authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security to coordinate disaster relief and help state and local agencies with equipment and resources.<br /> <br /> At more than 250,000 acres, the Carlton Complex is larger than the 1902 Yacolt Burn, which consumed 238,920 acres in southwestern Washington and was the state's largest recorded forest fire, according to HistoryLink.org, an online resource of Washington state history.<br /> <br /> The fire is being blamed for one death. Rob Koczewski, 67, died of an apparent heart attack Saturday while he and his wife were hauling water and digging fire lines near their home. Gov. Jay Inslee said Obama called Koczewski's wife to express his condolences.<br /> <br /> More than 2,100 firefighters and support crew are involved with fighting the fire, Payne said. She said firefighters have had success with fire lines on the east side of state Highway 153 between Carlton and Twisp.<br /> <br /> Karina Shagren, spokeswoman for the state's Military Department, said the National Guard has already been offering aerial support, but 100 National Guard troops were now being used on the ground for firefighting, and additional troops were receiving firefighting training for potential future use.<br /> <br /> Inslee briefed Obama on the fire situation after the president arrived in Seattle on Tuesday afternoon at the start of a three-day West Coast trip.<br /> <br /> "We have real significant challenges," Inslee said. "To have the president here today is actually a stroke of luck."<br /> <br /> Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell were among a dozen U.S. senators who sent a letter to Senate leaders Tuesday asking for passage of emergency legislation to allocate $615 million to fight wildfires.<br /> <br /> Fires are burning in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah, Arizona and California, and both Oregon and Washington have declared states of emergency.<br /> <br /> ---<br /> <br /> Online:<br /> <br /> http://carltoncomplex.blogspot.com<br /> <br /> http://www.dnr.wa.gov
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 11 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 11 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 11 months ago )
U.S. News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 11 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 11 months ago )
Local/State News
Committee leaves transportation funding to lawmakers
Georgia will have to cover a $1 billion to $1.5 billion transportation funding gap to stay economically competitive, a committee of lawmakers is warning in a report issued Tuesday.
5:36AM ( 11 months ago )
US off war footing at year's end, but wars go on
Taking America off a permanent war footing is proving harder than President Barack Obama may have suggested.
6:13PM ( 11 months ago )
GOP leader regrets talk to white supremacists; party leaders rally around him
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
6:08PM ( 11 months ago )
White House offers governors info on refugees in their states after Syrian migrants uproar
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is proposing to offer governors individualized reports about refugees in their states.White House chief of staff Denis McDonough says in letters to all 50 governors t...
9:08PM ( 1 day ago )
Standoff at Planned Parenthood ends with suspect's arrest; 3 killed, 9 wounded
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A gunman who opened fire inside a Planned Parenthood clinic was arrested Friday after engaging in gun battles with authorities during an hourslong standoff that killed t...
1:13AM ( 4 days ago )
White House undergoes Thanksgiving Day lockdown after man draped in American flag jumps fence
WASHINGTON (AP) — A man draped in an American flag climbed over the fence at the White House on Thursday, prompting a lockdown as the first family celebrated Thanksgiving.The man was immediately appre...
10:11PM ( 5 days ago )
Obama grants reprieve to turkeys 'Honest' and 'Abe' during White House ceremony
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama spared two turkeys named for one of the nation's most admired presidents, continuing a White House tradition that provides a refreshing sense of amusement and...
9:18PM ( 6 days ago )
The Latest: UN Security Council strongly condemns 'horrifying' attack in Mali, urges probe
BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — The latest on the attack on a hotel in the Malian capital of Bamako. (All times local):___4:55 a.m.The U.N. Security Council is condemning "the horrifying terrorist attack" at the...
10:58PM ( 1 week ago )