Wildfires In The Palouse


Many of you know that the Palouse is our o fo my favorite places to photograph. I have been running workshops in the Palouse region for 12 years. It’s a remarkable area and offer up beautiful landscapes that re unique and truly American.

Like so many places in the west the Palouse suffered its fair share of losses due to wildfires. While we will find another time and place to discuss climate change these losses and serious record setting fires are a result of how much as well as how fast the climate is changing.

Hard hit was Whitman County in the Palouse region. Several serious fires raged through the area destroying home, farms, bridges as well as the whole town of Malden, WA. You can see the destruction in the photos that can be found HERE.

I want to ask your support in doing a little “paying back” to our friends in the region. It’s my hope that we can help at least one family in Whitman County who has lost everything in recent fires there.

This historic bridge and the Krause Family farm, just off Manning Road, pictured below in an image from 2019, were destroyed in a fire over Labor Day weekend. Those that have attended my workshop have all become familiar with this overlook.  The bridge, home and barn are now destroyed.

This wooden bridge was destroyed in the fires that swept up through this canyon. While green in this photo since it was shot in June. The Palouse becomes very dry in late summer.
This wooden bridge was destroyed in the fires that swept up through this canyon. While green in this photo since it was shot in June. The Palouse becomes very dry in late summer.
The bridge, barn and home and pretty much whatever is green was destroyed in the recent wildfire.
The bridge, barn and home and pretty much whatever is green was destroyed in the recent wildfire.
This beautiful barn and home were destroyed
This beautiful barn and home were destroyed

As this bridge is the only access to their farm, it will need to be rebuilt before they can begin to rebuild their home.

The Onecho Bible Church (OBC), where the Krause family attends, has set up a “relief fund” for the family. As they lost everything, all donations will go into the OBC’s Krause Relief Fund and will go toward all the things they need including household things, clean up, and building a new bridge and access road.

Jack Lien, a photographer who lives in the Palouse, shared this information in a recent email:

As I have mentioned the family lost everything in the fire. The fire burnt over 2,700 acres of land and is still not totally contained. You may have heard that there were several other fires in the area that included the loss of two homes in Colfax and a fire in the town of Malden that destroyed 80% of the homes in that town.

The Malden fire was estimated to have burnt a swath of ground 3 miles wide and 10 miles long. The Town of Malden is getting a lot of attention from the State, Federal Government, Red Cross, and from local communities.

I believe making a contribution to the Krause family is also giving back to the Palouse community. As I have mentioned for years, Palouse famers, landowners, and residents have been very generous to photographers and visitors by allowing all of us access to their farms, barns, buildings, vintage vehicles, and their land.

I have no idea what the replacement bridge will look like or even when it will be complete. What I do know is the bridge is the only access to the Krause farm for most of the year. The sooner funds can be raised, the sooner the family can begin to rebuild their home, buildings, and barn.

I plan to be there documenting the cleanup of their destroyed family farm and document the rebuilding of the new bridge.

How to make a donation
Anyone who would like to make a donation to help the Krause family rebuild a bridge can send a check to:

Onecho Bible Church
11361 Almota Road
Colfax, Washington 99111
Write: Krause Relief Fund on the check

We Have Donated

Rockhopper Workshops as well as photoPXL has sent two checks each for $100.00 USD as a way to help the families in need. I would like to suggest that our readers and especially those that have enjoyed photographing in the Palouse all these year consider making a contribution too.

I am aware of the destruction all over the west and it’s hard to imagine the loss of property and how it affects thousands of people who have lost everything. Wildfires are still burning out of control and have devastated so much. My heart felt sympathies go out to all those that have suffered as a result of these devastating fires. Please consider through any means possible helping thetas that have suffered.

I thank you and I know the Krause family will thank you.

Kevin Raber
October 2020
Kevin Raber
Indianapolis, IN

Photography is my passion and has been for 50 plus years. My career in photography has allowed me to travel the world, meet some of the most interesting people on the planet and see things I could never have dreamed of. My goal is to share the passion of picture taking through photographs and teaching with as many people as I can, hoping it brings them as much joy and happiness as it has me. I do this through photoPXL.com, this site, as well as Rockhopper Workshops, and other projects, as well as teaching as Artist In Residence at the Indianapolis Art Center.

Article Type: News, Columns, MISC

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