The image that you see is of Doug and Heather Roberts, owners of Ashlyn's Vineyard in Chelan. The Chelan Complex fire in Lake Chelan, Washington destroyed the 10 acre vineyard, and they have a GoFundMe site dedicated to restoring it. Ashlyn's Vineyard is one of many places that have been destroyed by the Northwest Wildfires that are still burning as of this writing, with no way of knowing when it will end.
ABC News reports that a massive fire burning in north central Washington is the largest in the state's history. Of course, the fires in Washington are part of many fires that are in the Northwest areas of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and California, thanks to a very dry summer along with frequent dry-lightning strikes. So far, these Western blazes have destroyed more than 1 million acres of landscape, and this figure is a few days old.
King News reports that President Obama signed an emergency declaration last Friday, ordering federal aid to assist in the battling of Washington State's wildfires. The declaration allows FEMA to coordinate disaster relief efforts, in 11 counties and several Indian reservations that have been hit hard by the wildfires. Several towns like Tonakset, a riverfront hamlet with about 1,000 residents 25 miles of the of the Canadian border, have been evacuated.
According to Reuters, one of the worst of these fires is a cluster called the Okanogan Complex, which has grown significantly since last Friday. This fire includes the Twisp River fire, which killed three firefighters and injured four others last Wednesday, forcing an evacuation of 4,000 households in the towns of Twisp and Withrop about 30 miles west from Okanogan in the foothills of the Cascades.
For the first time in Washington history, volunteers are being asked to fight the fires, and more than 3,000 people have been called and emailed in response to Washington state's request for volunteer help with these wildfires. According to The Washington Post, firefighters from Australia and New Zealand have been called in to help a nation at wildfire preparedness Level 5, which is the highest level there is.
As I write this article from Pullman, Washington, the air is very smoky. This hazy and unhealthy air has a result of the winds carrying the smoke, and it can be seen in Seattle and Portland as well. People who are seeing the signs of bad air are asked to remain inside as well as check and see if there are any further warnings in their area, according to OPB.
For more information on the Northwest fires, and if there is a problem in your area, you should head to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center website, where you can find a map with all the fires on it as well as other related news as well.