Students from Fort McMurray Composite High School are released early as wildfire burns nearby in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada on Tuesday. An uncontrolled wildfire burning near Fort McMurray in northern Alberta, the heart of Canada's oil sands region, has forced the evacuation of nearly all the city's 80,000 residents, local authorities said on Tuesday. Courtesy Kangeun Lee via Reuters hide caption

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An airplane used to fight wildfires flies over a blaze that flared up near Omak, Wash., on Thursday. Ted S. Warren/AP hide caption

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Worsening Wildfire Seasons Tax The Forest Service

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Cattle rancher Craig Vejraska pours out feed while checking on his cattle in a smokey field in Cox Meadow, as the Okanogan Complex fires burn outside Omak, Wash., Aug. 26, 2015. Ian C. Bates for NPR hide caption

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In A Remote Part Of Washington, A Scramble To Save Cattle From Flames

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A helicopter flies near the Lake Fire in California's San Bernardino National Forest on June 19. Firefighters mobilized to combat the wildfire from the air, but they had to be grounded to avoid drones in the area. David McNew/Reuters/Landov hide caption

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In The Heat Of The Moment, Drones Are Getting In The Way Of Firefighters

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Many homes in the mountains of Kittitas County, Wash., are at severe risk for a wildfire. Fire managers are worried that parts of typically "wet" Washington state are years behind other places in the West when it comes to fire mitigation and prevention. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

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In Drier Washington State, Fire Chiefs Say Wildfires Could Scorch Any City

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A wildfire raced through the neighborhood of Broadview in Wenatchee, Wash., destroying numerous homes and apple-processing facilities. Fire managers are worried that parts of Washington state are years behind other places in the West when it comes to fire mitigation and prevention. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

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Wildfire Worries Rage In Typically 'Wet' Washington State

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Smoke billows from a forest fire in southern Saskatchewan, Canada, in late June. Thousands of Canadians have been forced to evacuate their homes because of wildland fires. AP hide caption

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Wildfires In Canada And Alaska Drive Thousands From Homes

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Rancher Ross Frank worries that funding to fight fires in Western communities like Chumstick, Wash., has crowded out important land management work. Rowan Moore Gerety/Northwest Public Radio hide caption

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Spending To Fight Wildfires At The Expense Of Preventing Them

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A DC-10 firefighting aircraft drops fire retardant in northern California in 2008. As the Forest Service expands and modernizes its fleet of air tankers, it has recently added several DC-10s. David McNew/Getty Images hide caption

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Bigger, Faster Air Tankers Help Forest Service Tackle Wildfires

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