The Northwest: Million-Acre Bomb

While record rainfalls in the North east have made summer a washout, the Northwestern states have experienced some of the hottest, driest weather in memory. In eastern Washington, the humidity last week dropped to 6%. Portland staggered through its 63rd consecutive day without rain—an alltime record—and the twelfth with temperatures over 100°. But personal discomfort was the least worry. Brittle and tinder-dry in the drought, more than 110,000 acres of the Northwest's timberlands were ablaze, or already burned out.

About 75% of the forest fires, worst in a decade, were started by...

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