This Season, Western Wildfires Are Close By and Running Free

Extreme fire behavior — difficult to predict and dangerous to fight — has been the watchword for the year. And these fires are menacing more lives and property.

TROUTDALE, Ore. — Some fires suddenly exploded in size. One in Montana doubled in 24 hours, charring 78 square miles overnight — an area bigger than Brooklyn. Already burning fires started new ones, shooting embers like artillery barrages, including one that apparently jumped several miles across the Columbia River into Washington from Oregon, breaching a natural firebreak that long seemed impregnable.Extreme fire behavior — difficult to predict and dangerous to fight — has been the watchword...