At nearly 66,000 acres burned,  the River Complex surrounding the town of Denny is now California's largest active wildfire. 

Some relief may come this evening as lower temperatures, higher humidity, and as much as a quarter-inch of rain is forecast. Gusting winds at elevation, however, will continue to increase fire activity.


Wildfire season is in full swing, with more acres burned than average in the Northwest so far. Scientists are studying the connections between climate change, drought and wildfire.  And policymakers and fire managers are trying to keep pace with new demands on resources as firefighting costs continue to rise. Jes Burns of our EarthFix team spoke with JPR’s Liam Moriarty about the latest thinking on these issues.

Public Domain

Quick, what's the only animal kills far more than it can eat?  Whoops, that would appear to be us. 

While we express concerns about wolves and other predators returning to the landscape, a group of scientists points out that humans are "super predators." 

Just by the numbers, we take a larger proportion of prey through hunting and fishing than any other creature in the animal kingdom.

H.Alexander Talbot/Wikimedia Commons

If your summer vacation plans along California's north coast include a good old-fashioned clam dig, think again.

State health officials are warning that mussel and razor clam samples in Humboldt and Del North Counties are showing dangerous levels of domoic acid, a powerful naturally-occuring neurotoxin that can sicken humans who eat contaminated shellfish.

Jorge Barrios/Wikimedia

Oregon started lighting up on July 1st, when marijuana became legal for personal use. 

But nobody can legally sell the herb until October 1st. 

And that's far in advance of the originally intended date for retail sales. 

Clear on all this?  It can be confusing as state agencies like the Oregon Liquor Control Commission develop rules. 

Jay Medin via

THURSDAY, AUGUST 27, 10 AM .... The Democrat Fire that started just west of Weaverville Tuesday afternoon has been recalculated to be smaller than originally believed. Major gains in containment have been reported. 

Meanwhile, the Gasquet Complex northeast of Crescent City,  and the River Complex surrounding the town of Denny,  each grew by nearly 3,000 acres yesterday. Gusting winds - often aligned with fires in valleys - were a major contributor to the spread and are expected to continue through Friday.

Liam Moriarty/JPR

It’s no secret that Oregon’s rural areas have lagged behind the state’s urban core in recovering from the recession of 2008. As politicians and business leaders scramble to find ways to resuscitate the sluggish rural economy, a 19th Century transportation technology makes the case that it holds part of the answer.  

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 26, 11 AM ... Just as firefighters gain 55 to 90 percent containment on 4 of 5 fire complexes in Trinity County, a new fire has erupted just two miles west of the county seat of Weaverville. 

The Democrat Fire is located off Democrat Gulch Road near Oregon Mountain. Like the River Complex Fire in Denny it is very close to Highway 299 which remains open at this time.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. 


Crater Lake Zipline

It's a bit of a stretch to call the new treetop tour company in Klamath County "Crater Lake Zipline," because it's about half an hour's travel from Crater Lake. 

But it does offer something unique in the region... a journey through the trees of the Fremont-Winema National Forest, 90 feet or so above the ground. 

Visitors travel over nine ziplines and two sky bridges, the longest tree canopy zipline in Oregon. 


Lagging student performance in public schools often focuses on minority students. 

Often--not always--the darker the skin, the lower the grades.  More minority teachers could help, and that's where Kelly Ramirez comes in. 

The Grants Pass resident is a senior at Southern Oregon University, the first in her family to attend college. 

And she plans on teaching when she graduates. 

Gasquet Fires: Low Containment & Big Winds

Aug 26, 2015

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 26, 10:30 AM ... With the Gasquet Complex burning at a rate of about 1,000 acres-per-day, and four of the six fires still active, crews will now be faced with high winds. Ridge top winds of 20-25 miles-per-hour out of the southeast are expected, with a shift to westerly winds in the afternoon. Highs will be in the low 80's. 

Containment has only increased 3 percent over the past five days.

Francine Marciel/Trinity County Alerts Facebook page

Firefighters are battling a rapidly growing fire in the Democrat Gulch area in Weaverville, in Trinity County. 

There is a mandatory evacuation ordered for the west side of Oregon Mountain down to Highway 299. Steiner Flat Road in Douglas City is under a voluntary evacuation order.

Oregon Street is closed to the top of Oregon Mountain.

Southern Oregon University

Southern Oregon is home to plenty of galleries, but only one true museum of art: the Schneider Museum of Art on the campus of Southern Oregon University in Ashland.  

  The Schneider is home to an exhibit of the photorealist works of Chuck Close and the moment.  And it is the office of Interim Director Scott Malbaurn.

Four of the original six fires in the Gasquet fire complex are still burning as firefighters work to complete lines and burn-out operations in Six Rivers National Forest in Del Norte County.

Total size of the complex is 17,723 acres, with 20 percent containment on the complex as a whole.

Stouts Creek Fire Facebook Page

  Summer may be drawing to a close, but fire season will be with us for at least a few more weeks.  Which is why the bosses at Ashland Fire and Rescue are putting out reminders of things people can do to prepare for the possibility of a wildfire nearby.

Ashland had a close call with the Siskiyou Fire in September of 2009, and the city's proximity to forested land makes it ever-vulnerable.

  The recent news that the Earth's population could hit 11 billion by the end of the century should give anyone pause.

Maybe we are capable of feeding all those mouths with current agricultural technology, but what if large chunks of farmland are rendered unusable by climate change? These are the questions Joel K. Bourne, Jr. considers in his book "The End of Plenty: The Race to Feed a Crowded World.

MONDAY, AUGUST 24, 10:30 AM ... Although most of the wildfires in northwestern California are now over 50 percent contained, the River (Denny) and Gasquet (northeast of Crescent City) complexes are less than 25 percent contained.

Inversions are expected to lift across most of the region this afternoon,  which should help air support, but will likely increase fire activity. Gusty winds at higher elevations are also a concern. 

The Air Quality Forecast was published at 9:45 this morning and is HERE

National Creek Complex Facebook page

Eastern Oregon's Canyon Creek Complex of fires is now 23% contained as firefighters were aided by lessening winds and cooler temperatures on Saturday.


Smoke from Oregon's wildfires continues to plague residents and travelers.

The National Creek Complex of fires is now 10% contained as it burns it part of Crater Lake National Park. The Park remains open, although the north park entrance road remains closed to facilitate fire operations and provide for the safety of firefighters and park visitors.

National Creek Complex Facebook Page

UPDATE: MONDAY, AUGUST 24, 5:00 P.M. ... It's hard to get around near Crater Lake National Park as crews work to contain the National Creek fire complex

The two fires burning in Crater Lake National Park and the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest since August 1st now total 10,833 acres. The fires are 10 percent contained.

The Level 1 (Get Ready) evacuation order for the area around Diamond Lake Area has been lifted.