Saturday, July 19, 2014

Very Brief Notes on Pateros

NASA image of Washington State wildfires

The passage of thunderstorms across the east slopes of the Cascade Range ignited numerous wildfires. Forest fires on the east slope of the Cascades are a common event. In rural residential areas within the dry forests home loss is also not uncommon. I am fairly cognizant of fire hazard areas, but have to admit a bit of surprise at the damage that directly hit Pateros, a town on the Columbia River outside the forest zone and with orchards on the hillsides above.

I marked up a couple of burned areas on Google earth via images from the Wenatchee World.
As can be seen the slopes above Pateros are sparsely vegetated and rocky. Other areas outside of Pateros where homes were lost are the more classic forest and homes settings. This fire was a nasty, hot and fast moving blaze that must have had just the right mix of combustible material to throw embers over streets and roads and even houses.   

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