Environment

David Parada, 7, left, and Abel Parada, 8, run through a heavy spray of water creating a rainbow at Walter E. Hall Park on Saturday, June 26, 2021 in Everett, Wa. The Everett Fire Department set up a fire hose sprinkler station to help people cool down and escape the heat Saturday afternoon. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Monday will be worse: Some locations could see 110 degrees

The heat wave sweltered past 100 degrees Sunday in much of Snohomish County and Western Washington.

David Parada, 7, left, and Abel Parada, 8, run through a heavy spray of water creating a rainbow at Walter E. Hall Park on Saturday, June 26, 2021 in Everett, Wa. The Everett Fire Department set up a fire hose sprinkler station to help people cool down and escape the heat Saturday afternoon. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The Monte Cristo trail connects to an access road on Friday, Oct. 2, 2020 in Monte Cristo, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

At Monte Cristo ghost town, a big fight over a short road

Historic preservationists want to keep a new road to access the townsite. Environmentalists want it gone.

The Monte Cristo trail connects to an access road on Friday, Oct. 2, 2020 in Monte Cristo, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Bri Gabel joins volunteers and Imagine Children's Museum staff as they clean the bones of a gray whale at a Mukilteo area industrial site early this month. The whale died in 2019. The bones will be part of an exhibit Gabel is designing for the museum's addition, which is due to open in 2022. (Julianne Diddle photo)

Whale skeleton will be a star attraction at children’s museum

Exhibit’s designer pitched in and shared expertise as volunteers spent a day cleaning massive bones.

Bri Gabel joins volunteers and Imagine Children's Museum staff as they clean the bones of a gray whale at a Mukilteo area industrial site early this month. The whale died in 2019. The bones will be part of an exhibit Gabel is designing for the museum's addition, which is due to open in 2022. (Julianne Diddle photo)
In this photo provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, grasshoppers are seen eating a plant in this undated handout photo from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Federal agriculture officials are launching what could be the largest grasshopper-killing campaign since the 1980s amid an outbreak of the drought-loving insects that cattle ranchers fear will strip bare public and private rangelands. (U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service via AP)

Western drought brings another woe: voracious grasshoppers

Cattle ranchers fear the drought-loving insects will strip bare public and private rangelands.

In this photo provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, grasshoppers are seen eating a plant in this undated handout photo from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Federal agriculture officials are launching what could be the largest grasshopper-killing campaign since the 1980s amid an outbreak of the drought-loving insects that cattle ranchers fear will strip bare public and private rangelands. (U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service via AP)
Cars make their way across US 2 between Lake Stevens and Everett as wildfire smoke makes downtown Everett barely visible on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Wildfire smoke: A burning health issue is getting worse

As the hazardous haze increases during fire seasons, it’s time to get serious and prepare, experts say.

Cars make their way across US 2 between Lake Stevens and Everett as wildfire smoke makes downtown Everett barely visible on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2014, file photo, endangered orcas from the J pod swim in Puget Sound west of Seattle, as seen from a federal research vessel that has been tracking the whales. A new study from federal researchers provides the most detailed look yet at what the Pacific Northwest's endangered orcas eat. Scientists with the NOAA Fisheries Northwest Fisheries Science Center spent years collecting fecal samples from the whales as well as scales from the fish they devoured. They say their data reaffirm the central importance of Chinook salmon to the whales. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

Feds could restrict West Coast salmon fishing to help orcas

NOAA Fisheries is taking public comment on the plan, which wouldn’t affect tribes.

FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2014, file photo, endangered orcas from the J pod swim in Puget Sound west of Seattle, as seen from a federal research vessel that has been tracking the whales. A new study from federal researchers provides the most detailed look yet at what the Pacific Northwest's endangered orcas eat. Scientists with the NOAA Fisheries Northwest Fisheries Science Center spent years collecting fecal samples from the whales as well as scales from the fish they devoured. They say their data reaffirm the central importance of Chinook salmon to the whales. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

Puget Sound Energy inks deal to buy Montana wind power

The utility can use transmission lines from the Colstrip plant to bring electricity to western Washington.

This undated aerial photo provided by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows a herd of caribou on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Alaska. The Biden administration is suspending oil and gas leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as it reviews the environmental impacts of drilling in the remote region.(U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via AP)

Biden suspends oil leases in Alaska’s Arctic refuge

The region is home to polar bears and other wildlife — and a rich reserve of oil.

This undated aerial photo provided by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows a herd of caribou on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Alaska. The Biden administration is suspending oil and gas leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as it reviews the environmental impacts of drilling in the remote region.(U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via AP)
A diver volunteer empties the trash he was collected onto the dock at Davies Beach on Sunday, May 23, 2021 in Lake Stevens, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Volunteers pull bottles, cans and clothing from Lake Stevens

A dozen divers spent a morning removing trash from near a boat launch and parks. And there’s more down there.

A diver volunteer empties the trash he was collected onto the dock at Davies Beach on Sunday, May 23, 2021 in Lake Stevens, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
A kayaker paddles through rapids on the Sultan River on Saturday, May 22, 2021 in Sultan, Wash.

3 times a year, kayakers challenge the Sultan River’s froth

When water is released from Culmback Dam, experienced paddlers descend on one of the area’s most unique runs.

A kayaker paddles through rapids on the Sultan River on Saturday, May 22, 2021 in Sultan, Wash.
FILE - In this March 3, 2020, file photo, is the Iron Gate Dam, powerhouse and spillway are on the lower Klamath River near Hornbrook, Calif. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said this week that it won't release water into the main canal that feeds the massive Klamath Project irrigation system, marking the first time in 114 years that no water has flowed in the so-called A Canal. The agency announced last month that irrigators would get dramatically less water than usual, but a worsening drought picture means water will be completely shut off instead, the agency said. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus, File)

Water crisis ‘couldn’t be worse’ on Oregon-California border

Irrigators have reacted with disbelief as the news of a water shut-off in the canals spread.

FILE - In this March 3, 2020, file photo, is the Iron Gate Dam, powerhouse and spillway are on the lower Klamath River near Hornbrook, Calif. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said this week that it won't release water into the main canal that feeds the massive Klamath Project irrigation system, marking the first time in 114 years that no water has flowed in the so-called A Canal. The agency announced last month that irrigators would get dramatically less water than usual, but a worsening drought picture means water will be completely shut off instead, the agency said. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus, File)
Libby Reed, left, and Patrick Lehr, right, plant red cipollini onions at Orange Star Farm on Thursday, May 6, 2021 in Monroe, Wash.

Agencies, nonprofits help farms adapt to changing landscape

It’s not just climate that’s a challenge. Local agriculture is also fending off urban encroachment.

Libby Reed, left, and Patrick Lehr, right, plant red cipollini onions at Orange Star Farm on Thursday, May 6, 2021 in Monroe, Wash.
Libby Reed loosens soil with a broadfork at Orange Star Farm on Thursday, May 6, 2021 in Monroe, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

By necessity, local farmers grow resilient to climate change

Snohomish County’s diverse agricultural community is learning to survive a bushel of challenges.

Libby Reed loosens soil with a broadfork at Orange Star Farm on Thursday, May 6, 2021 in Monroe, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Pedestrians walk beside a brick building on Wetmore Avenue on March 17, 2021, in Everett, Washington. Old buildings constructed before 1945, with unreinforced masonry, are vulnerable to seismic waves. The exterior could break away and plummet into the street. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

3. Aftermath: Infrastructure won’t fare well in a big quake

Shockwaves from a shallow fault here could ravage bridges, schools and the water supply in Western Washington. Emergency planners want you to be ready.

Pedestrians walk beside a brick building on Wetmore Avenue on March 17, 2021, in Everett, Washington. Old buildings constructed before 1945, with unreinforced masonry, are vulnerable to seismic waves. The exterior could break away and plummet into the street. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Jody Bourgeois, a University of Washington researcher who specializes in liquefaction, surveys the Snohomish River delta, where land is prone to turn to liquid in a major earthquake. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

2. Built on pudding: Can modern quake engineering prevail?

At least 30,000 people in Snohomish County live on saturated soils and sediment that will behave like shaken liquid when a big earthquake hits.

Jody Bourgeois, a University of Washington researcher who specializes in liquefaction, surveys the Snohomish River delta, where land is prone to turn to liquid in a major earthquake. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Our Fault: The earthquake hazard beneath us. Map of major geologic faults of the Puget Sound region. No caption necessary. 20210502

1. Buried danger: A slumbering geologic fault beneath us

An earthquake along the southern Whidbey Island fault reshaped the land some 2,700 years ago. Another big one is expected, and it could be devastating.

Our Fault: The earthquake hazard beneath us. Map of major geologic faults of the Puget Sound region. No caption necessary. 20210502

Students lead charge as Langley council takes climate action

The Whidbey Island city has declared a climate emergency and has pledged to involve United Student Leaders.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY. Map shows epicenters for earthquakes greater than 3.0 magnitude between 1969 and 2021. (Chuck Taylor / The Herald) 20210509
NO CAPTION NECESSARY. Map shows epicenters for earthquakes greater than 3.0 magnitude between 1969 and 2021. (Chuck Taylor / The Herald) 20210509
The Cold Springs Fire in Omak. (Okanogan County Fire District 6)

Officials hope to douse Western blazes fast, avoid megafires

2020 was one of worst years on record, with 10 million acres scorched and 18,000 structures destroyed.

The Cold Springs Fire in Omak. (Okanogan County Fire District 6)
A log shows the depth of creosote penetration while Department of Natural Resources crews remove ropes from logs removed from Elger Bay, via helicopter, on Monday, May 10, 2021 in Camano Island, Washington. The logs were then shipped to a landfill. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Goodbye, creosote: Cleanup underway at Elger Bay salt marsh

The toxic wood preservative was once ubiquitous in Washington. On Camano, it threatens salmon.

A log shows the depth of creosote penetration while Department of Natural Resources crews remove ropes from logs removed from Elger Bay, via helicopter, on Monday, May 10, 2021 in Camano Island, Washington. The logs were then shipped to a landfill. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
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