BRIDGEPORT, Washington — There are fewer than 1,000 sage grouse left in Washington state, and Michael Schroeder has been studying them for more than 30 years. Schroeder is a biologist with the state’s fish and wildlife agency. He also lives in Bridgeport, a community which saw extensive destruction from the Cold Springs and Pearl Hill Fires.
Schroeder and his wife lost power and water at their Bridgeport home when the fires swept through the area over Labor Day Weekend, razing a combined area of more than 167,000 hectares (413,000 acres). Some of their neighbors lost everything.