Oregon's winter of 2016-17 won't soon be forgotten

They might be remembered as the eight winter events that shook our world. From an early December snowfall to mid-January freezing rain and six storms in between, Portland-area residents experiencing winter 2016-17 may have felt like a fighter who'd taken one too many pops to the head. Snow, freezing rain, snow, more snow, trace of snow, freezing rain, blizzard and freezing rain. It has seemed relentless. The metro area's winter lacked only the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and a swarm of loc

It's a scientific fact: It's been snowing a lot at Mount Hood, water supply survey shows

TIMBERLINE LODGE - After yet another blizzard earlier this week on Mount Hood, it would seem a scientists' snow survey Thursday at Mount Hood would yield the obvious: the mountain is swimming in the stuff. And it is. But that's not the whole story. In addition to taking a measure of the mountain at a snow station on the peak's south flank, hydrologist Julie Koeberle provided a history lesson. Granted, the history is only a year old. But it's a worthwhile lesson anyway. Koeberle conducted a sn

Flight over Eagle Creek fire reveals scorched swaths and seas of green

"That over there? That's Angel's Rest. Angel's Rest is toast." Pilot Adam Kruse was just calling it as he saw it. But the sight and the commentary would feel like a punch to the gut for anyone who has hiked to Angel's Rest, the 1,450-foot-high bluff in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. The trail is a challenging but rewarding route that promises the payoff of a drop-dead gorgeous view of the gorge. The last few hundred feet or so of elevation on the popular trail are going to fea

Wind, steep terrain make for treacherous firefighting in Columbia River Gorge

CASCADE LOCKS -- Scott Stanton squinted through binoculars, scanning a sheer, scorched ridge above the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Hard to tell for certain from here, Stanton said, but the trees at the top looked burned. And Stanton, a forest fire manager who usually serves as Hermiston's fire chief, knew there was nothing firefighters could have done to prevent that destruction. Treacherous terrain and high winds provided a one-two punch against early efforts to contain the 33,

Will rain help or hurt Eagle Creek fire in the Gorge? It's complicated

The benefits of rain on fire seem obvious. But firefighting officials were concerned Saturday about erosion and flooding threats in the Columbia River Gorge posed by several days of anticipated precipitation. Given two weeks of steady burn activity in the Gorge, those officials believe some damage is inevitable. But it was impossible to forecast the extent Saturday, they said, in part because the Eagle Creek fire is still burning. "Usually it takes years - four to five - for vegetation to grow

4,130 cut trees near the road: Testament to Eagle Creek's Interstate 84 destruction

A chunk of Interstate 84 closed Sept. 4 because of the Eagle Creek fire, and on Thursday officials showed why the eastbound lanes have remained off limits, even as the fire threat subsided. More than 4,000 cut trees - mostly Douglas fir and cottonwoods with obvious burn scars - lay on a patch of ground near Ainsworth State Park next to the interstate. Oregon Department of Transportation workers have spent nearly two weeks removing the trees, which were deemed likely to be a threat to motorists.

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His fear of -- and facination with -- Mount St. Helens set young geologist Dave Johnston face-to-face with the volcano when she unleashed her fury 15 years ago Dave Johnston soared above the erupting volcano.  It was his first love, that mountain. He saw a hodge-podge of rock and ash mix with acres of melting snow, then flow like fast moving concrete down the mountain flanks. Hot gases belched from the jagged summit, even though the initial blast - which he didn't even see - happened much ea

Mount St. Helens 'spiders' will get tryout on Chilean volcano

VANCOUVER -- Geological "spiders," packed with instruments to monitor the heaves, sighs and belches of Mount St. Helens , are expected to migrate south this month. Two of the contraptions are headed to Chaiten, a volcano in Chile that began erupting in 2008 after about 9,000 years of dormancy. The spiders, as they are nicknamed, will be making their international debut. The Chilean volcano, 760 miles south of the capital, Santiago, may be settling down after spewing ash and pumice, creating mu