A few years back, I was heading the door out to try the West Ridge of Mt. Stuart in central Washington - an area notorious for summer fires. As we started to roll out of the driveway, I had a sudden thought. “Hey, I’m going back in and check for fires, I think I heard something on the news,” I said. Sure enough, a call to the local US Forest Service office told me a fire had started the day before near the trailhead and all backcountry access was closed. If we had not checked, we would have driven 5 hours for nothing.
Don’t let this ruin your weekend! A visit to one website can tell you about all fires in the western US at a glance.
From Oregonian writer Terry Richard: "Locations on the map are clickable for detailed information on each fire. The website provides the location of the fire, the lead agency fighting it, when it started, how large it is, what percentage is contained, the start date, the cause and expected containment date. It also details how the fire is being fought and how it affects the public, regarding highway, campground and other land closures"
Bookmark this site on your web browser and be sure and check it before you head out on a summer trip.
A screen grab from Aug 2018, a major fire year: