Inslee Declares Statewide Wildfire Emergency

Gov. Jay Inslee has declared a state of emergency in the entire state due to wildfire threats.

Inslee signed the proclamation Tuesday as dry hot conditions continue and several fires burn in the state. The proclamation notes that there have been “abnormally dry conditions” throughout July and above-average temperatures, causing “a high risk of severe wildfire outbreaks requiring an immediate response.”

      Wed August 1 News

The move allows for assistance from the Washington National Guard, which has already been requested by the Department of Natural Resources. Among the requests are the use of aviation assets and crews to be sent to the eastern part of the state.

With Death of Calf, Time Running Out to Save NW Orcas

The death of a newborn calf in the Southern Resident Orcas ranks is bringing renewed urgency to calls to save the iconic Northwest whales. Killer whales in the region face a number of pressures, the most critical being a lack of salmon to eat.

      Tue July 31 News

Fire Danger Increases in Clallam County

That warning from the DNR as Burn Restrictions are now in effect in parts of unincorporated Clallam County.

Fire Marshall Annette Warren says the Clallam County Burn Ban is being modified to a “HIGH” fire danger in the eastern part of the county – while here on the West End the danger remains at moderate.

All debris burning is now prohibited until further notice.  And all written burn permits are currently suspended.

      Mon July 30 News

The exceptions to this modification are those campgrounds within the Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest which are not regulated by the county.

Meanwhile The City of Forks is making voluntary efforts to reduce water usage in light of drier than normal weather conditions.

  • Limit watering of outdoor plants, gardens and yards to less than thirty minutes every other day with such watering occurring in the early morning or late evening.
  • Limit washing of vehicles, unless required as in the case of commercial trucks and equipment, to once every five to seven days.

Similar voluntary restrictions are in place in the Clallam Bay Sekiu area.

300,000 Petitioners Call on Microsoft to End Contract with ICE

In the wake of its involvement of family separations at the border, groups are calling on Microsoft to end its $19.4 million contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The groups delivered more than 300,000 signatures opposing the contract to the company’s headquarters on Thursday.

      Fri July 27 News

PA to Sue Feds on Elwha Water

The Port Angeles City Council has green-lighted a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Interior over the Elwha water treatment facilities – that while holding out hope for an amicable settlement.

The council voted 7-0 in a special meeting Tuesday to authorize the suit in federal court to protect the city’s claims against the National Park Service over several issues stemming from the removal of the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams.

      Thu July 26 News

City officials assert that the federal government has failed to fulfill its obligations under the 1992 Elwha River Ecosystem and Fisheries Restoration Act to protect the city’s water rights and water supply.

Under the statute of limitations, the city had to file the suit against the federal government by Friday.

The city says changes to the river since dam removal from 2011 to 2014 have raised the city’s cost to maintain the supply of industrial water and potable water backup from $60,000 to about $600,000 annually

The city is seeking an undisclosed amount of “mitigation funding” to help offset the added cost of operating NPS-built water treatment facilities.