Andy Porter has been a reporter and photographer for the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin since 2000.
And, yes, he’s used to being called “Porter the reporter.” (He also has the same initials as the Associated Press, which doesn’t help matters.)
After graduating from Arizona State University with a degree in journalism, Andy worked for many years as a reporter in New Mexico while picking up a permanent sunburn.
Seeking a change in the weather, he moved to Coos Bay, Ore., and after several years there then made his way to Walla Walla.
At the Union-Bulletin, Andy covers Walla Walla County, the city of College Place, the Washington State Penitentiary, agriculture, the environment and just about anything else that walks in the door.
Some of the highlights of his career include covering the first and only landing of a space shuttle at White Sands Missile Range, the shipwreck of the New Carissa, getting to drive a Coast Guard rescue boat and, most recently, accepting a ride with Lt. Col. John Klatt, a person who flies airplanes upside down, straight up, straight down and occasionally sideways. (With some pride, Andy notes the airsickness bag was not needed. He was pretty loopy for the rest of the day though.)
Many of the hundreds of men and women who have been battling the Blue Creek Fire were packing their bags this morning.
Containment of the Blue Creek Fire is now at 85 percent today with the fire holding at 6,004 acres, fire officials said.
In many places, the mountain landscape appeared as if it had once been in a color photo that now has been turned black and white.
When the Blue Creek Fire broke out on the early afternoon of July 20, Jean Hylton and her husband, Roy, were at work in Walla Walla.
The Blue Creek Fire remained at 73 percent contained today as crews work to solidify fire lines, particularly on the southern flanks near the Mill Creek Watershed that supplies Walla Walla’s municipal water.
Local support for firefighters battling the Blue Creek Fire has been “overwhelming,” officials said Monday. But bees and wasps haven’t been happy.
Crews rapidly gained more ground on the Blue Creek Fire Monday, pushing containment of the blaze to 73 percent today, up from 50 percent on Monday.
The lake had been closed July 22 to allow firefighting helicopters to draft water from it.
Helped by cooler weather over the weekend, firefighters continued to increase control of the Blue Creek Fire today. But the return of hot weather expected later this week is raising concerns.
The battle against the Blue Creek Fire continued to take a positive turn as crews had the fire at 25 percent containment as of Saturday afternoon.