Carlton tops Yacolt as biggest wildfire ever

Much of Washington is ablaze today, and the Carlton Complex Fire has now become the state’s largest wildfire on record.
   News reports said so, but I had to confirm on my own. I knew from my research for PEMCO’s current “Don’t Get Burned!” wildfire campaign that the biggest Washington fire ever was...

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Arborist seeks world tree-climbing crown

Oregon could be home to the world’s tree-climbing champion in two weeks.
   What, you didn’t know people compete at climbing trees? Indeed they do.
   And Robert Bundy, 37, of Milwaukie will travel to the other Milwaukee (in Wisconsin) to do exactly that Aug. 2-3 at the International Tree Climbing...

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Big timber harvest no match for past decades

Four years after hitting a low point, Oregon’s timber harvest rebounded to 4.2 billion board feet in 2013, much higher than the 2.7 billion figure of 2009.
   Oregon foresters credit strong exports and an improving housing market.
   In comparison, the state timber harvest was 9.74 billion board feet...

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Here's help if you seek a teen-driver car

Here's news you can use if you're looking to by a safe, affordable car for a new teen driver.
   For the first time, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety – known by some as the "crash-test people" – has compiled a long list of used cars it recommends for teen drivers. Vehicles on the list meet...

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Vintage Nortons rumble to rally near Ashland

Make no mistake, Howard Prairie Lake near Ashland is nothing like Sturgis, S.D., site of the annual Harley-Davidson motorcycle rally. Nor does it aspire to be.
   But the bikers who ride to Ashland are just as passionate about their iconic machines: British-made Nortons.
   The International Norton...

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Are we rainy day people? Not so much

Even a fair-weather camper like me will eventually get soaked on a Northwest hike.
   It goes with the territory when you live in our damp corner of the country. And according to our latest PEMCO Poll, 70% of Northwest residents admit they sometimes cancel their outdoor plans if rain threatens.
  ...

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Cross-country joy ride took just two days

Maybe the car thief was racing the clock. Or hurrying to return home to Blaine.
   Or maybe the driver simply couldn’t find an ATM anywhere until reaching the Umpqua Bank on H Street.
   Blaine police are scratching their heads after they found a stolen 2012 Jeep Patriot outside an Umpqua branch on...

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Early wildfires turning Evergreen State black

Wildfires are scorching Washington early this summer. We're barely into July and homes are being threatened across half of the state.
   As of today (July 10), the Mills Canyon fire near Entiat had charred 10,100 acres and shut down Highway 97A, which parallels the Columbia River between Wenatchee...

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DNA matches ‘yeti fur’ with extinct bear

Sasquatch seekers sulked recently when DNA tests of alleged mystery hairs revealed they actually came from common critters like horses and dogs – not giant hominids.
   But the most interesting discovery, glossed over by most news accounts, was that two supposed Himalayan yeti hair samples matched...

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Memorable Independence Days gone by

Happy Fourth of July!
   I’ve long said July 4 is my favorite holiday. Growing up near Seattle, I’ve always relished sunshine, blue sky, and warm days.
   Which, as all natives know, rarely arrives before July 5.
   Still, I love summer in the Northwest. Californians might have sunshine year-round,...

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