PORTLAND, Ore. — After a fire season memorable for its dramatic burns throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service has released a comprehensive online narrative and interactive timeline aimed at telling the story.
Complete with maps, graphics, and stirring photos of smoking landscapes and dogged fire crews, the new 2017 Fire Narrative and Timeline serves as a seemingly complete record of the efforts that eventually contained a constellation of fires across the Pacific Northwest.
The 2017 fire season saw crews at a record 40 days of the highest level of preparedness—Level 5—according to a Forest Service statement. This means that they were at high alert three weeks longer than the 2015 fire season. Fires spanned state, regional, and national boundaries, mandating constant cooperation between different local agencies.
While the 2017 Narrative is partly aimed at educating the public, it also serves as a tool for the Forest Service and other agencies to learn from the struggles of the past. The Forest Service has documented what methods proved to be effective, as well as those that complicated efforts.
The 2017 Fire Narrative and Timeline can be visited here.