Environment

Smoke from the Bolt Creek fire silhouettes mountain ridge and tree layers just outside of Index on Monday, Sept. 12, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Scientists: Warming climate ‘loads the dice’ for wildfire in west Cascades

Heat plus spark times wind times fuel equaled a 9,440-acre wildfire. Record heat made the Cascades ripe for a fire like Bolt Creek.

 

Remnants of red dye released to help check shellfish health on Monday, Sept. 12, 2022 in Oak Harbor, Washington. (Penn Cove Shellfish)

Follow that plume: Scientists dye Whidbey waters to protect shellfish

Red dye was released from the Oak Harbor wastewater treatment plant on Monday for a study on shellfish safety.

 

Casey Katims (U.S. Climate Alliance)

Edmonds native directs U.S. Climate Alliance

In a fight to reduce greenhouse gases, Casey Katims and staff draw a roadmap for the national organization.

 

U.S. 2 remains closed east of Gold Bar due to the Bolt Creek fire Monday morning near Index, Washington on Sept. 12, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald

Bolt Creek wildfire stalls at nearly 8,000 acres, 2 percent contained

Shifting winds and rain showers will likely lower the risk for homes in Index. Rocks have toppled on U.S. 2.

U.S. 2 remains closed east of Gold Bar due to the Bolt Creek fire Monday morning near Index, Washington on Sept. 12, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald
A firefighting helicopter carries a bucket of water from a nearby river to the Bolt Creek Fire on Saturday, Sep. 10, 2022, on U.S. Highway 2 near Index, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Bolt Creek wildfire grows to nearly 8,000 acres; US 2 closed indefinitely

Evacuation orders remained in place. Only 50% of residents asked to leave had gone, according to the sheriff’s office.

A firefighting helicopter carries a bucket of water from a nearby river to the Bolt Creek Fire on Saturday, Sep. 10, 2022, on U.S. Highway 2 near Index, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
State Trooper Isaiah Oliver speaks to a BNSF worker at mile marker 31.7 as road closures and evacuations mount in response to the Bolt Creek Fire on Saturday, Sep. 10, 2022, on U.S. 2 near Index, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Bolt Creek wildfire explodes to over 3,000 acres, prompts US 2 evacuations

Evacuations were mandatory from Index to Skykomish. In 12 hours, it grew to an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 acres, shutting down U.S. 2.

State Trooper Isaiah Oliver speaks to a BNSF worker at mile marker 31.7 as road closures and evacuations mount in response to the Bolt Creek Fire on Saturday, Sep. 10, 2022, on U.S. 2 near Index, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Cars drive along a smokey Mountain Loop Highway on Friday, Sept. 9, 2022 in Granite Falls, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Wildfires flood Western Washington with smoky skies

Air quality in Darrington was ranked the worst in the state Friday. Most of the region was in a red flag warning.

Cars drive along a smokey Mountain Loop Highway on Friday, Sept. 9, 2022 in Granite Falls, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Logo for news use featuring Whidbey Island in Island County, Washington. 220118

Whidbey Island waters to be dyed red for shellfish study

The study will help scientists evaluate the affects of a sewage spill on shellfish safety.

Logo for news use featuring Whidbey Island in Island County, Washington. 220118
A helicopter drops water on one of three wildfires burning east of Darrington. (Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest - US Forest Service)

Wildfires grow east of Darrington, closing trails ahead of Labor Day

Several thousand acres in the Cascades — over 180 near Darrington — were burning this week as a long weekend approached.

A helicopter drops water on one of three wildfires burning east of Darrington. (Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest - US Forest Service)
A grassroots effort is currently underway to educate the public about the potential harmful effects of a proposed development near Silver Lake Creek. A New Path for Snohomish County hopes to hold both the Silver Lake Water and Sewer District and Snohomish County Planning & Development Services accountable, and ensure that established codes are properly followed.

Environment is too precious to allow developers a free pass

A New Path for Snohomish County calls on community to protect Local Watershed and WSDOT Mitigation Site from irresponsible and rampant development. Silver Lake creek… Continue reading

A grassroots effort is currently underway to educate the public about the potential harmful effects of a proposed development near Silver Lake Creek. A New Path for Snohomish County hopes to hold both the Silver Lake Water and Sewer District and Snohomish County Planning & Development Services accountable, and ensure that established codes are properly followed.
Darrington Mayor Dan Rankin along side land located in north Darrington that could potentially be used to build a 30-acre Wood Innovation Center, which will house CLT manufacturing and modular building companies on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2020 in Darrington, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Comment: Darrington leading way in climate-saving technology

The timber town’s embrace of cross-laminated timber can reduce the carbon footprint of buildings.

Darrington Mayor Dan Rankin along side land located in north Darrington that could potentially be used to build a 30-acre Wood Innovation Center, which will house CLT manufacturing and modular building companies on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2020 in Darrington, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The map shows the location of three wildfires burning in remote forested areas northeast of Darrington. (Washington State Department of Natural Resources)

Trails close as 3 wildfires burn on slopes northeast of Darrington

There was no immediate threat to populated areas. Multiple trailheads and campgrounds have been closed for public safety.

The map shows the location of three wildfires burning in remote forested areas northeast of Darrington. (Washington State Department of Natural Resources)
Egyptian grasshopper (Hectonichus, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Egyptian grasshopper, a nonnative insect, spotted in Everett

The public is asked to report any other sightings. The grasshopper can grow nearly 3 inches long and has distinctive striped eyes.

Egyptian grasshopper (Hectonichus, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)
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State’s new Clean Fuel Standard takes aim at climate-changing pollution

As drafted, the standard seeks to improve air quality in high-pollution neighborhoods. Deadline to comment on them is Aug. 31.

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The Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, aerial photo released by the U.S. Coast Guard shows a diesel spill off the west coast of Washington state's San Juan Island after a 49-foot (15-meter) fishing vessel sank with an estimated 2,600 gallons (9,854 liters) of fuel on board. A Good Samaritan rescued all five crew members on the Aleutian Isle as the vessel was sinking near Sunset Point, the Coast Guard's 13th District Pacific Northwest district in Seattle and KIRO-TV reported. (U.S. Coast Guard via AP)

Coast Guard responds to small oil spill near San Juan Island

A Good Samaritan rescued all crew members on the Aleutian Isle as the vessel was sinking Saturday.

The Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, aerial photo released by the U.S. Coast Guard shows a diesel spill off the west coast of Washington state's San Juan Island after a 49-foot (15-meter) fishing vessel sank with an estimated 2,600 gallons (9,854 liters) of fuel on board. A Good Samaritan rescued all five crew members on the Aleutian Isle as the vessel was sinking near Sunset Point, the Coast Guard's 13th District Pacific Northwest district in Seattle and KIRO-TV reported. (U.S. Coast Guard via AP)
Teresa Reynolds sits exhausted as members of her community clean the debris from their flood ravaged homes at Ogden Hollar in Hindman, Ky., Saturday, July 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Editorial: How many billion-dollar disasters will it take?

A tally of climate disasters shows an ever-increasing toll of costs and lives. Congress must act.

Teresa Reynolds sits exhausted as members of her community clean the debris from their flood ravaged homes at Ogden Hollar in Hindman, Ky., Saturday, July 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
Forest ranger Justin Sundstrom looks over a newly reported broken rail at the Ice Cave trail Saturday morning near Granite Falls, Washington on July 23, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

On Mountain Loop, crew of 5 rangers covers a mountain range of work

Ranger Justin Sundstrom spends his days patroling for illegal shooting, picking up trash — and exploring a slice of paradise.

Forest ranger Justin Sundstrom looks over a newly reported broken rail at the Ice Cave trail Saturday morning near Granite Falls, Washington on July 23, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
A gray whale has lingered around Possession Sound in July 2022. (Sara Montour Lewis / Our Wild Puget Sound)

Scientists: Gray whale spotted at Mukilteo waterfront was a newcomer

The whale has lingered around Possession Sound. It’s unclear if it will join a group of regular visitors known as the Sounders.

A gray whale has lingered around Possession Sound in July 2022. (Sara Montour Lewis / Our Wild Puget Sound)
Ian Terry / The Herald

From a research boat on Wednesday, Oct. 12, Tulalips Tribes treaty rights commissioner Terry Williams points out a steep hillside near Mission Beach that has been gradually eroding for years.

Photo taken on 10122016

Terry Williams, Tulalip’s ‘champion of climate issues,’ dies at 74

The bolo tie-wearing elder shaped state and national environmental policy. He was both soft-spoken and a powerful advocate.

Ian Terry / The Herald

From a research boat on Wednesday, Oct. 12, Tulalips Tribes treaty rights commissioner Terry Williams points out a steep hillside near Mission Beach that has been gradually eroding for years.

Photo taken on 10122016
Two EV charging stations are unveiled at a ribbon cutting outside of PUD headquarters on Wednesday, July 13, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

PUD fast-charging EV stations in Everett ready for drivers

A state grant with money from the Volkswagen emissions cheating settlement helped fund the the project.

Two EV charging stations are unveiled at a ribbon cutting outside of PUD headquarters on Wednesday, July 13, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)