Washington State to Kill Pack of Endangered Gray Wolves

iStock/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) — Wildlife officials in Washington state have made the decision to kill an entire pack of endangered gray wolves after several attacks on livestock.

This week, ranchers discovered two calf carcasses in addition to an injured calf, leading to the decision to eliminate the pack, KOMO, an ABC television affiliate in Seattle reported.

The wolves, known as the Profanity Peak wolf pack, have killed or injured six cows and are suspected in the deaths of at least five others since mid-July.

On Aug. 5, Washington state Department of Fish and Wildlife officials culled two members of the pack, in the hopes of preventing any future livestock deaths.

"At that time, we said we would restart this operation if there was another wolf attack, and now we have three," Donny Martorello, department wolf policy lead, told KOMO. "The department is committed to wolf recovery, but we also have a shared responsibility to protect livestock from repeated depredation by wolves."

Jim Unsworth, director of Fish and Wildlife, authorized field staff to remove the remaining members of the pack after the two calves were found, according to KOMO.

The Profanity Peak wolf pack is one of 19 known wolf packs in Washington state, KOMO reported.

The pack had at least 11 members, including six adults and five pups earlier this summer.

In 1978, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service reclassifed the gray wolf as endangered.

In some areas, the wolves have made a strong comeback, prompting calls for them to be delisted, especially as run-ins with human populations have increased.

Since 2008, Washington's confirmed wolf population has grown from two wolves in one pack to at least 90 wolves and 19 packs by early 2016, wildlife figures show.

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California anticipates much-needed rain this week after catastrophic wildfires

California anticipates much-needed rain this week after catastrophic wildfiresGoogle Earth(NEW YORK) -- Ravaged by a slew of deadly wildfires in recent days, northern California is set to get a bit of relief this week in the form of rain.

A storm system is expected to move over the Pacific Northwest later this week and the trailing cold front will most likely bring some much-needed rain to northern California between Thursday and Friday, according to ABC meteorologists.

"It will rain a bit but not enough to fully douse the blazes," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Ken Clark said in a statement Tuesday. "The biggest advantage to firefighters will be the increase in humidity and lower temperatures."

Massive wildfires have charred more than 245,000 acres of land statewide in the past week, killing at least 41 people and destroying thousands of homes, according to authorities.

Firefighters were battling about a dozen wildfires as of late Tuesday evening, although most of them were more than halfway contained.

“The weather today will be warm with low humidity, which will continue to challenge firefighters, but only light winds are forecast,” CalFire said in a statement on Tuesday. “A chance of precipitation is expected to arrive later in the week, bringing relief from the dry conditions.”

The northern parts of the Golden State, which has bared the brunt of the fire damage, is forecast to see an influx of cloudy, cooler and wetter weather later in the week, according to AccuWeather.

Spotter from Los Osos was reporting sprinkles from this high level moisture. Dry at lower levels. Rain evaporates. Also called "Virga" #cawx pic.twitter.com/sgxj3bdXZQ

— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) October 18, 2017

However, a return of dry air, heat and areas of gusty winds could once again raise the wildfire danger early next week, meteorologists said.

Separately, a band of moisture, referred to as Atmospheric River by weather experts, is currently stretching between Asia and North America. It’s expected to bring several storm systems into many parts of the Pacific Northwest through the rest of the week.

The first of these storms have already hit the Pacific Northwest with wind gusts of between 40 and 74 mph.

A number of wind warnings and flood watches are in effect in the western and northern parts of the U.S. ahead of the storm.

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