Disasters and Accidents

Disasters and Accidents

Inciweb

The Federal Aviation Administration emailed all 500,000 drone owners in its registry this week to remind them to stay away from wildfires. Close calls between hobby drones and firefighting aircraft persist across the West despite repeated warnings.

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Fireworks aren’t the only thing firefighters have to worry about this Fourth of July weekend. They have a big battle on their hands and have been bringing in extra crews and equipment to posts east of the Cascades.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Emergency responders in Washington, Oregon and Idaho this week are practicing for a subduction zone earthquake. It’s part of a regional drill called Cascadia Rising -- billed as the largest earthquake simulation in Northwest history.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Planes and parachutes might be the best bet for getting supplies to cut-off areas in the event of a subduction zone earthquake. National Guard pilots and paratroopers practiced supply drops and parachute jumps Thursday.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee wants oil trains to slow down and safety improvements to speed up. Inslee said Wednesday that he personally delivered that message to the CEO of Union Pacific and the executive chairman of BNSF over the last 48 hours.

Emily Schwing / Northwest News Network

Following Friday’s derailment in the Columbia Gorge, environmental groups are petitioning the Obama administration to ban rail transport of the most flammable kind of crude oil. And Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden said on the floor of the U.S. Senate Tuesday that it was clear that Oregon got lucky -- this time.

Washington Department of Ecology

Friday’s oil train derailment and fire comes as Washington state prepares to put new oil shipment safety rules into effect. In fact, the derailment in the Columbia Gorge happened just as the first public hearing on those rules was wrapping up in Vancouver, Washington.

Emily Schwing / Northwest News Network

As information about Friday’s oil train derailment in Mosier, Oregon, trickled in, officials did not immediately offer any information on the condition of the city’s water system.

But according to a press release Sunday, investigators discovered Mosier’s “waste water treatment plant and [the city’s] sewer lines are now non-operational as a result of damage from the train derailment.”

Emily Schwing / Northwest News Network

As crews worked to clean up overturned oil tanker cars and answer questions about the cause of Friday’s train derailment in Mosier, Oregon, the Hood River community gathered to protest oil transport by rail.

Emily Schwing / Northwest News Network

A press briefing midday Saturday included spokespeople from the Union Pacific Railroad Company, officials with various environmental agencies from both Oregon and Washington, the county sheriff and even Richard Franklin, a federal-level official with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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