Firefighter Gerardo Rincon, who was a crew boss battling the Moose Fire near Salmon, Idaho, died after a medical emergency on the morning of Sept. 20, according to U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Forest Supervisor Charles Mark.
Rincon served as a wildland firefighter since 1994. During his career, he was a Type 2 firefighter, engine captain and crew boss. According to Mark, he was highly recognized for his performance by his employers and crew members enjoyed working for him during many fire assignments.
The USFS worked with the incident management team and the Wildland Firefighter Foundation to return Rincon to his home in Oregon on Sept. 24. There was a procession from the Jones and Casey Funeral Home though downtown Salmon and to the Lemhi County Airport.
KHQA-TV CBS 7 Quincy
A wildfire season has left its scars across the Treasure State. Now as cooler temperatures slow down fire activity, state officials reflect on this season’s impacts.
“We saw the high pressure heat really set in in July and August that put our fire danger on a pretty steep climb, and we moved from that moderate fire danger to very high and extreme in just a number of weeks,” Montana DNRC fire protection bureau chief Matt Hall said.
You can see the aftermath from the Elmo 2 Fire near Flathead Lake.
These scarred lands are part of the roughly 120,000 acres burned to date this year, and smoke-filled Montana skies throughout the summer, but this fire season saw less activity than last season. “We did see that moisture move through June, where the previous year, we were already well into fire season in June, and so that late moisture did help push fire season activity till later in July and August,” Hall said.
KECI-TV NBC 13 Missoula
As the 2022 wildfire season in Oregon nears its end, it seems fair to say this season has been decidedly different than recent years.
“While the last 20 years have seen difficult-to-control large wildfire activity each year, this year has been
different for the PNW,” the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center tweeted Sunday night. “So far this year we’ve seen fires totaling 549,093 acres. This is a 63 percent drop from 2021 with 1,503,027 acres.” That’s right — a 63% drop in acres burned in Oregon year-to-year. (Generally, wildfire season in Oregon lasts from mid-May to mid-September.)
But there are still plenty of wildfires burning in Oregon at this time. It’s just that they’re smaller (for the most part) and relatively contained.
The state’s largest fire, the Double Creek Fire, began August 22 by a lightning strike. Officials said the fire grew 6 acres over the past day, and 518 personnel are assigned to fight it.
KOIN-TV CBS 6 Portland
Changing weather patterns have increased the threat of the Bolt Creek Fire, causing a series of new evacuations as officials say the fire could get more volatile rapidly due to heat and dry conditions.
The fire, which has been burning since Sept. 10, has gone from 96% contained down to just 7% contained.
As of 5 p.m. Sunday, some areas east of Skykomish, along with residences north and south of US Route 2 are under a Level 1 evacuation notice, meaning to start preparing to leave.
Level 1 evacuations—’get ready’—are also in effect for Beckler River to FS Road 66, north and south of US 2, including Foss River Road and Index.
Skykomish, Baring, Grotto, and the area along US 2, east to the Money Creek tunnel are under a Level 2 notice, meaning to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.
Decline in air quality. Danger. Damage.
The latest headlines about wildfires emphasize its potential for large-scale destruction, but there’s a positive side to fire that has long been used by Indigenous people as a way of caring for the natural landscape. Now Abenaki leaders are working alongside the U.S. Forest Service to research this practice and return it to New Hampshire.
Unlike wildfires, controlled fires can benefit the landscape, allowing species to thrive and depositing necessary nutrients. But for many years, those practices were suppressed out of a fear of fire and desire to protect the commercial value of timber. “Fire became kind of viewed as an enemy, as a danger,” said John Neely, an assistant fire management officer for the White Mountain National Forest.
New Hampshire Bulletin