Public participation in scientific research is mushrooming in the Northwest and across the country. The trend is called "citizen science." It can take the form of volunteer monitoring and data collection, or crowd-sourced science, or science education with a research component.
One sign the movement is gaining acceptance and credibility: It was a big topic of discussion at a science conference in Portland last week -- the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America.
Cars are stopped and asked to wait for a pilot car to lead them through Banner Summit on Highway 21. Officials urge drivers to be careful while traveling along these roads as there is heavy fire traffic and low visibility at times from the smoke.
Large wildfires continue to burn in Western states including in California, Oregon and Idaho. Hot temperatures and high winds have made fighting these fires tough.
It’s been especially tough for crews working on a wildfire burning 18 miles Northwest of Stanley. The fire, which has been burning since late July, picked up steam. And Tuesday night evacuation notices went out to people living along Highway 75 between what’s called Joe’s Gulch and the small community of Sunbeam. Evacuations have not been ordered for Lower Stanley.
In the past week air quality in the Treasure Valley has been in the orange category several times. That means the air can cause health problems for sensitive groups. Health officials caution people to avoid strenuous outdoor activities during orange alerts, but the area’s high school sports teams are practicing as usual.
Janel Kozlowski’s son is a freshman at Meridian’s Rocky Mountain High School. He’s on the football team and goes to two practices a day. Kozlowski says he’s having trouble breathing.
Crews have made progress on the Springs Fire burning five miles west of Garden Valley. The fire’s price tag is now at $4.1 million, and climbing.
Boise National Forest spokesman David Olson says crews today will concentrate on protecting the Terrace Lakes Subdivision, which is three miles from the fire. Windy conditions, including gusts up to 22mph could mean problems for firefighters.
The U.S. Forest Service has identified a firefighter killed in Idaho on Sunday as 20-year-old Anne Veseth of Moscow, Idaho. She was struck by a falling tree at the Steep Corner Fire southeast of Coeur d’Alene. Firefighting deaths fluctuate from year to year, but the biggest source of that danger has shifted.
An official with Idaho’s Department of Environmental Quality says the Treasure Valley is experiencing the worst air quality since a bad winter inversion in 2002. Smoke from wildfires around the region have kept the air quality index between 101 and 150 for several days. That’s the orange category.
The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality’s Air Quality Index says the air today is unhealthy for sensitive groups.
That’s no surprise to Saint Alphonsus pulmonologist Doctor Kathleen Sutherland. She can usually see the Boise foothills from her office window, today all she can see is smoke. And it’s that smoke, from wildfires, that’s affecting her patients.
Because of the smoke-filled skies in large portions of southern and central Idaho, the Department of Environmental Quality has issued a Stage 1 air quality advisory. That means open burning is prohibited in the region.
Here's the press release issued by DEQ and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare: